Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Review, Tasting Notes, Food PairingsThis Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon review is part of our value wine series. Discover great, affordable and easy to find wines.

Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Review from Paso Robles, California

Vintages: 2013 & 2014

Today I want to cover a relatively recent find at my local Total Wine. The Carson Ridge Cabernet is arguably the most affordable, complex and flavorful New World Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve come across for under 8 bucks.

I wanted to discuss both the 2013 and 2014 vintage, as it seems many retailers are beginning to phase out the 2013. (If you find it, let us know who’s still selling it in the comments). In short, I prefer the 2013 Carson Ridge as it was a bit more well rounded, cola-esque and tannic. The 2014 is fine, but being a bit more youthful it has a brightness to it that I’d rather let calm down for a year or so before drinking.

Related: Discover the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety and what makes it one of the most popular red wine grapes in the world

Serving the Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Decant both the 2013 (15 minutes) and 2014 (30 minutes) Carson Ridge Cabs to get the best value. Chill to around 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The 2013 is drinkable now, but would advise waiting a couple of years on the 2014 Carson Ridge.

Carson Ridge Carbernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes

In the glass, this Cab gives off some traditional hints of Paso Robles. The core is rich, ruby and magenta, indicating youth. The rim is a bit thinner and somewhat translucent, indicating a slightly lighter body. You’ll see some lengthy legs on this bad boy. The nose is inviting and fresh, with evidence of plum, pepper and a ripe mixture of red berries.

This is a medium-full bodied Cabernet. On the opening palate, almost instantly we detect some clingy tannins backed by black cherry, red currant and raspberry. On the mid-palate the tannins soften up a bit to reveal some subtle oak, cassis and cracked black pepper. It almost tastes like a blackberry-cola cobbler with chewy tannins and black pepper. Approaching the close, light vanilla custard, blackberry and cedar dance across the tongue over a medium velvety finish. As mentioned earlier, the 2013 vintage is more well rounded and balanced than the 2014.

Related: The Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon recently made our list of the Best Red Wines for 2016

Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 2014 Review, Tasting Notes, Food Pairings

Texas-style barbecue brisket makes for an ideal food pairing with the Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon. Image courtesy Serious Eats.

Carson Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing Ideas

Given the fruit forwardness, soft oak and youthful tannic content evident in this delectable vin, consider pork as a top choice for food pairing. Pulled pork sandwiches will work quite nicely here.

Secondarily, barbecue brisket or chicken teriyaki will work equally as well. Basically, savory and peppery should be your focus here.

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