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Great Cabernet from the land of Pinot

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One of California’s stars in winemaking is Bryan Babcock. Since 1984, Bryan has been producing wines of from his family owned winery located on the far western edge of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County.

He was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the “Ten Best Winemakers of the Year” and The James Beard Foundation chose Bryan as one of the “Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World,” the only American chosen.

In choosing Bryan for this award, David Moore wrote, “Bryan Babcock best exemplifies the traits I look for in a great winemaker. The quality of Bryan’s wines speak for themselves, yet it is his personal commitment to excellence that stands out so much. His relentless experimentation, his willingness to explore the possibilities with so many grape varieties, and his aesthetic are a world apart from the usual American approach to winemaking.”

We could not agree more. Bryan is an exceptional talent helping to spur the current Cabernet Sauvignon renaissance that is taking place in Santa Barbara County with Classic Rock.

Babcock Cabernet Sauvignon Classic Rock is made from mostly Estelle Vineyard fruit in east Santa Ynez Valley, where it is warm enough to get Cabernet grapes ripe. The rock referenced in the name isn’t music. The moniker is inspired by the brilliantly colored stones found in the vineyards of the Santa Ynez Valley. This wine is a deep violet and starts out with a not-so-classic Cabernet nose of red currant and cranberry but then garrigue-like spicy boysenberry and black cherry notes appear followed by raspberry and cedar flavors plus an intriguing milk chocolate component.

Refined and pristine, it’s a beauty on the mid-palate with generous, juicy and lush flavors. These flavors are complimented by soft, dusty tannins that are are plush and velvety rather than harsh

Overall, this firm Cab offers a good acid backbone and great intensity and a lingering finish.

We purchased this wine at Circus Wines, 853 Route 35 North, Middletown, NJ for under $20 making it a good value wine.

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