This Leese Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon Review is part of our value wine series. Discover ratings, in-depth tasting notes, food pairings and more for wines that are easy to find and won’t break the bank.
Leese Fitch Cabernet Review from California, USA
Vintages: 2013, 2014
It’s not everyday I stumble across a buy one get one free deal at my local grocery store. In fact, I don’t think it’s ever happened to me until this week. Since I’m always on the lookout for stellar wine deals, especially when it comes to New World Cabernet, I was stoked when I found the Leese Fitch Cabernet for around $12 and buy one get one free. Note that I know this particular Cabernet can retail for as little as $9 elsewhere, as well.
What Goes Into the Leese Fitch Cabernet?
Despite the label, you might be surprised to hear that the Leese Fitch Cabernet isn’t actually 100% Cabernet. This seductive red wine is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 4% Grenache, 2% Tempranillo, 2% Barbera and 2% Alicante Brouchet. All told, this is a unique blend that exemplifies subtle hints of each grape if you pay close attention to your palate. We’ll go into these flavors and aromas more specifically in a few moments.
Approximate Alcohol by Volume (ABV) with this wine is 13.5%.
The Leese Fitch Cabernet Exemplifies Californian Terroir
Also worth noting is that this Cabernet blend is not a single estate wine. It’s sourced from 5 different appellations across California (all well recognized and respected regions), hence the basic designation of “California” on the label. According to the Vintner, 48% of the grapes are sourced from Lodi, with the remaining concentrations falling in at 18% from the Northern Interior Valley, 14% from Madera County, 12% from Clarksburg and 8% from Paso Robles.
As mentioned, all of these regions are well respected among industry professionals. Personally, the fact that the dominant grape concentration comes from Lodi excites me as it’s one of my favorite regions for Cabernet production, as is Paso Robles.
From the producer:
“A solid year for winemaking, 2014 saw a warm and long growing season, which led to ripe fruit with ample time for tannins to mature on the vine. The majority of the Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from excellent vineyards in Lodi, which offers the blend black cherry fruit and just a hint of spearmint. The Clarksburg and Northern Interior Cabernet provides the blend with cold climate nuances in the form of powerful tannins and pomegranate notes. The Merlot was obtained from a couple of vineyards in Paso Robles, which adds structure and character from the distinctive Paso Robles terroir. The balance of varietals, mostly from Lodi, add fruity nuances as well as a nice color to round out the blend.”
Leese Fitch Cabernet Tasting Notes
In the glass, this wine exhibits a clear ruby red hue with medium intensity and some very preliminary hints of garnet around the rim. For the most part, youth is still largely evident.
Very impressed with the floral and red fruit bouquet on the opening aromas. Hints of carnation, backed by subtle pomegranate and ripe red cherry, maybe a bit of cranberry as well.
The open is a tad bit sharp (acidic), so you might consider decanting this wine for about 20 minutes or so just to soften it up. Largely medium in body, expect refreshing hints of jammy red cherry, raspberry, ripe blackberry with undertones of subtle mint and cracked red pepper spice on the opening palate.
The mid-palate brings to light some slight mineral tones, almost sandy, backed by refreshing and elevated acidity with medium tannins and hints of cedar.
Towards the finish, tobacco tones with more black fruit become evident, with underlying acidity helping to maintain the balance of a fairly long finish.
All in all, very impressed with this wine for the price. It’s not the most complex Cabernet out there, but given the fruity and earthy nuances coming together over a nice balance and lengthy finish, it’s a great crowd-pleasing wine with great drinkability. Highly recommend for spontaneous parties or a last minute buy before having guests over.
Leese Fitch Cabernet Food Pairing Ideas & Recipes
The flavor and fruit nuances in this Cab make it a flexible food pairing option. My gut points me towards Penne alla Vodka and ground beef or lamb. The brightness of this wine also makes it an ideal option to pair alongside your typical Italian-styled Spaghetti and Meatballs or even Veal Marsala.