Previously I reviewed the Santa Rita 120 Chardonnay and found it a well crafted wine that was true to the grape; unfortunately the same cannot be said of the companion Cab Sauv. The Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon is a drinkable easy going wine that if a fine fit for a casual lanai event with or without food. However, as an example of the grape or an interesting showing of what can be done with it the 2012 vintage I sampled fell short.
Dark ruby in the glass, give it a swirl to let some air into the wine and your nose is greeted with a fruity blend of berry with a hint of cherry. That carries through into a blended flavor of mixed fruit, berry and a touch of plum backed by an earthy aroma of fresh turned soil, pleasant for those of us from farm country. The earthiness supplies a bit of length, lingering past the very easy going tannin and quickly dissipating fruit flavors in this wine. That combination of tannin and finish has advantages, the smooth tannin allows this to serve as a nice stand alone beverage, while the lack of length makes for a good complement to a meal, allowing both parts to build on each other without the food dominating the wine or vice versa.
In the end the 2012 Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon is what it is, a budget priced easy to drink wine that goes well with an informal gathering of friends and conversation, but not so well for moments of reflective introspection or formal events meant to impress. Available all over the area for around $7 a bottle you will be getting a fair value, but also one that reflects the growing demand and up and down supply of wine from around the globe.