Sebastiani scores bigtime with this lush, opulent Cabernet-based blend. It’s a joy to drink, offering intensely ripe cherry pie, blackberry, blueberry, orange marmalade, cola, mocha and spice flavors. It feels so smooth in the mouth, with a gorgeous balance of natural and oak-inspired tannins. This is really a special wine, but it is for early consumption.
Now in its third vintage, this complex Bordeaux blend, which is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, performs at the height of Sebastiani’s red portfolio. Mainly from great vineyards in Alexander and Sonoma valleys, it’s very much in the modern style, soft and ripe. Yet it maintains an elegant dignity, and it passes the threepeat test: You want a second glass, and then a third.
This is the winery’s Meritage red, although with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon they could have bottled it as that variety. It’s nearly always Sebastiani’s best Bordeaux-style wine, but the ’05 is something of a letdown from past vintages. It’s elegantly structured and nicely flavored, with subtle currant, cherry, olive and smoke flavors, but has a bitter taste throughout.