2019 Blacksmith C.L.R.T. Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (750ml)
About the Icons
C.L.R.T. as Blacksmith has used it here stands for "claret", the old term that was historically used in the UK for red wines from Bordeaux. Finding good quality Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley that we can get to the shelf for well under $30 is an increasingly difficult challenge, but in that effort Blacksmith is one of our most trusted suppliers. The blend in 2019 is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Aging was in all French oak, production 1120 cases.
We could quote the notes here from Blacksmith's web site, but to be frank they are a little bit too long on superlatives. That does not mean we don’t love it - we do, and consider it a great value. But it is an honest, varietally correct, tasty, medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from a region famous for far more expensive wines. It is not “absolute perfection”. And it does not inspire the following, nor, at $20, should it be expected to: “The fragrant bouquet offers up voluptuous chocolate-infused cherries seductively woven together with hints of fresh pipe tobacco and cola. The concentrated, full-bodied flavors of crème de cassis, blueberries, vanilla, and fresh cocoa persist through the long caressing finish.” The wine industry suffers from descriptive inflation, and while this keeps critics busy and marketing folks spinning, it is ultimately a disservice to consumers looking for credible guidance. We prefer to keep it simple . . .