Fun fact: As long as a wine consists of at least 75% of a particular grape variety, the label may designate it as such with no further explanation.
However, as a wine wonk, I delight in knowing if any other grapes have been added in. Such blending can explain why a wine has a certain zing, or color, or mouthfeel. This particular Cab’s other 25% are grapes that form the basis of Bordeaux blends: Petit Verdot (7.5%), Malbec (7.5%), Merlot (5%), and Cabernet Franc (5%).
The nose reveals rich blackberry and well balanced oak; the wine was aged for 21 months in French oak barrels (40% new). The color is influenced by the Cabernet Franc, which adds a magenta brightness. The taste and texture are more brilliant, as well — a silky mouthfeel with beautiful alto notes mid-palate add oomph and layers to the Cab Sauvignon depth, and give way to a long finish with dry tannins evident.
The vineyards of Lucas & Lewellen are located in the three principal wine grape growing regions of Santa Barbara County: the Santa Maria Valley, the Los Alamos Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. These valley vineyards benefit from a transverse mountain range topography, an east-west orientation which channels cool ocean air from the Pacific into the coastal valleys. Warm days and cool nights produce a long, gentle growing season. Valley View Cabernet Sauvignon is blended from grapes grown in Valley View Vineyard (Santa Ynez Valley AVA, 40 acres). This warm climate vineyard slopes gently toward the Santa Ynez River and features well-drained fine sand and gravely loam soils. The lower elevation of this south-facing vineyard produces what many consider Santa Barbara County’s best Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sample sent for review.