Editor’s Note: This Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon review is part of our value wine series of reviews. Learn about affordable, great tasting wines that are also easy to find.
Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Review, Tasting Notes and Food Pairings
Having been to this winery in Sonoma and getting the opportunity to sample some of their wine club-only and library wines, I must admit I doubted whether Sebastiani’s basic 2014 Cabernet would be able to match up to anything I had sampled on site.
However, my experience at Sebastian was fantastic, and I now have a new understanding of their commitment to quality. When I saw the 2014 Cabernet on my local grocery store shelf for just $14, it was time to give it a try.
Fast forward a few months from my first purchase and I can now say that the Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my go-to house wines.
I keep two bottles in my ready-to-drink wine cooler, and another 3 in the cellar at all times. This is a great wine to break out for dinner and cocktail parties, or for general gatherings with friends and family.
Growing the Grapes
Sonoma is perhaps best known for producing complex and fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon, and it’s Sebastiani’s choice selection of premium growing sites that have helped to launch their name into stardom. But did you know that this wine is not 100% Cabernet?
Sebastiani is able to call it a Cabernet because the majority of the juice is from that grape (81.3%), but smaller concentrations of Petit Verdot (6.8%), Merlot (4.6%), Ruby Cabernet (3.7%) and Malbec (3.6%) were also utilized to take the wine further.
Grapes for the Sonoma County Cabernet were sourced from AVAs that include Chalk Hill, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. They were harvested at peak ripeness during nighttime hours between September 16th and October 26th — a bit early due to how long the warm weather lasted into the fall.
Producing this vintage wasn’t without its challenges, as 2014 was the second drought year during the Winter and Spring for Sonoma.
Crafting the Wine
To begin the fermentation process, Sebastiani soaked the grapes for 3 days. They were then crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks at warmer temperatures.
According to the Vintner:
After pressing, each lot was blended or egg-white fined depending on flavor, color and tannin concentration. The wine was aged for 9 months, primarily in American oak. Small portions of Petit Verdot, Merlot, Ruby Cabernet, and Malbec were added for balance, aromatics and flavor.
I’d also like to note here that Hungarian and French Oak was used during the aging process, with 15% of it being new oak.
Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes
In the glass, this wine exudes colors of deep black cherry and ruby purple hues. The nose is aromatic and relatively concentrated, giving off tones of cherry plum and blueberry.
I’d say that the palate is medium to full-bodied, with no shortage of cherry, black plums, blueberry cobbler and pomegranate fruit flavors perpetuating. Acidity is medium, tannins are evident but delicate and the finish is medium-long with a delicious vanilla flavor lingering on the back of the tongue.
The 2014 Sebastiani Cabernet is ready-to-drink now, but you can also age it in cool storage for another 5 years. ABV is 13.9%.
Food Pairings with the Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon
The black & blue fruit-forwardness, soft tannins and medium acidity of this wine yield a near perfect balance. It screams for a pairing like Barbecue Pulled Pork or Brisket. You might even consider busting out the Candied-bacon Cheeseburger.
Also see our guide on how to pair food & wine like an expert.