Review at Length: Line 39 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Line 39 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Big and brawny, this has bold, ripe fruit aromas and flavors that are shaded by thyme and dill, and backed by very firm tannins and good acidity. The mouthfeel is full and astringent, and the mouth-puckering tannins last on the finish. Enjoy it now with pork ribs or flank steak.
86 points (Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast)
Line 39 offers a variety of wines from grapes produced in both the Central and North Coasts of California. The name of the winery is an homage to the 39th parallel, which runs through the heart of the wine country. The wines produced in this region are said to be dynamic, expressive, versatile and sophisticated. Whites are bright and crisp, while reds are smooth and easy to pair with a variety of foods. In addition to this Cabernet, the winery also produces Sauvignon Blanc (which I will review at a later date, Chardonnay, Merlot and Petite Sirah.
Now for some real-deal review time! This sells for about $12.99 at my local grocer, but I was able to score two bottles of any Line 39 variety during a buy-one-get-one promotion, bringing each bottle down to just under $6.50! These sales can be real hit-or-miss, so I make sure to do my research before I hit the stores and open my wallet. I decided on one bottle of this Cabernet, and my second was the Sauvignon Blanc (huge fan, I am).
My research on this particular Cab shows that that the grapes were harvested from both the Monterey and Lodi regions (1), fermented in stainless steel, and then aged in both American and French oak (2). I had to do some digging both on the winery’s website, and amongst some other wine review websites, as this information was not gleaned from the bottle itself. But like my mother always taught me, if you have questions, go find the answers! Never stop with “I don’t know”!
Pour this Cabernet out and you will notice the intense, opaque purple-black hue immediately in your glass. The thinnest layer of orange-pink-violet rims the glass, with legs that are thin, slow, but not very symmetrical.
The nose is initially sweet, as its youth suggests, but allow this to open and decant properly and you will be greeted with more woodsy and green herbaceous aromas. Plum, cherry, blackberry, brambles and sweet tobacco are all prominent on the nose. The palate shows tannic presence, again due to its youth, though not overbearing. Flavors mirror the aromas, heavy with notes of deep ripe fruits, tobacco and licorice. The finish is medium-long, and the acidity is decently balanced. You may even notice some black tea on your palate, long after the wine has left your palate.
Overall, this is not bad for everyday drinking if you like your reds young. If not aging this, decanting is a must to tone down the initial syrup-sweet flavors. There is not much complexity going on here, but this could definitely work to its benefit if you are serving a crowd and want to please everyone – this has deep fruits, earthy elements, and solid tannins. However, if you are aging this, this has the potential to develop a lot of intriguing flavors flavors down the line. See where it’s at around 2020, maybe?
For my pairing, I chose Honey Mustard Pork Chops and Spicy Roasted Carrots. This would also go well with something as simple and easy as spaghetti and meatballs, or anything you’re grilling for a crowd at your next feast – burgers, wings, sausages, you get the picture, here.