14 Hands Winery from Washington State burst on the local scene around half a decade ago with their Hot to Trot Red Blend popping up on restaurant lists all over Southwest Florida. Having looked at the 14 Hands Chardonnay earlier this summer I wanted to see how their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon tasted in comparison, quite well actually.
Pouring a dark purple tinged red in the glass the wine provided a bold up front nose of dark berries with a touch of black cherry and wet wood. The flavor follows the bouquet with cherry, black currant and a dirty earth and spice component at the end. While not a long and persistent finish, there is a spicy zing that lingers on the tongue, not aggressive, just present. Most surprising is the softness of this wine, the tannins are there, but lurking in the background and are barely noticeable against the fruitful nature of this Cabernet. While it is drinkable to be sure the tannin and acidity together serve to balance a meal, but are mild enough to make this wine a good stand alone option too. That flexibility makes me wonder why more local restaurants have failed to put this in their wine list, from burgers to filet mignon this wine would provide a worthy complement for their diners.
Smooth and easy going the 2012 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon is a very approachable wine that in one way or another will appeal to many different palates. Priced within a very reasonable $10 to $12 range, a quick online check shows $9.47 at the Fort Myers Total Wine and More store, this is a wine you can feel comfortable serving to friends and family. On its own or at the table this wine can fill a need and yes, the smooth and soft mouth fell makes it an ideal red to serve in our sultry Southwest Florida weather.