Disclaimer: The wine was received as a media sample. Opinions expressed are my own.
A few weeks ago I was approached whether I wanted to review a wine for a good cause. Apparently, the California negociant Joseph Carr has developed a line of five varietals under the name Josh Cellars, to honor his father. With the holidays coming up, the company is going to donate $1 for every bottle bought until December 31 to the military family support organization Operation Homefront (up to $50,000). While many like to talk about honoring the troops and with Veterans’ Day, I thought that’s a neat idea and why not combine pleasure and giving.
The wines in the line include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Grapes come from California and are made in the French wine making tradition, whatever that really means (sometimes, I do find marketing talk interesting). The wines should be available nationwide.
A few days after the initial contact, I received a bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon in the mail….and cursed myself for not telling them that usually I am not that fond of Cabernet Sauvignon. My preferred choice would have been the Pinot Noir or even the Sauvignon Blanc. Ah well. I knew I could count on Nina to help me assess the wine (she’s in love with all things Cabernet Sauvignon).
I checked the technical stuff on the wine, so let me share that with you. It contains 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, which was actually exciting news because I tend to like Cabernet Sauvignon blended much better. For those unfamiliar with negociants, they are wine merchants that cooperate with growers to produce a crop from which the negociant makes and markets wines, think of Louis Jadot or Georges Duboeuf of the American Kermit Lynch.
When we poured the wine, shortly before I took off to Germany, it poured in a surprisingly light color, much less saturated than I had anticipated. The nose showed some heat, prunes, ash, blackberry and strawberry after a while of opening up. When tasted initially, it just had a great mouth feel with a good chewiness and freshness. I got green peppers, some sweet raspberry aromas, cooked strawberries and there were hardly any tannins noticeable. The wine had retained some hints of sweetness, and was all in all quite pleasing. After an hour, I noticed aromas of licorice and tobacco complementing the palette.
What the Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon might lack in depth, it easily made up for its drinkability and how accessible it is. I can see this as a great wine for people that might be interested in wine, but don’t have much experience, and frankly, we all have a ton of such friends. They want to explore wine more, but they also see the entry barrier as too high. I can see the Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon come in handily for those. And when seen from that angle, it makes for a great gift for a family member or something to take along to a party in the neighborhood. It’s an easy to enjoy wine for sure, and the price tag at $14.99 SRP seems quite alright.
Their website is currently under construction, but you can look up their partnership with Operation Homefront on Josh Cellars Facebook page.