Sebastiani is a big, big winery. I can’t even go to their tasting room any more because of the overpowering antiseptic smell in there the last time I went. You try tasting wine when all you can smell is Clorox and Lysol. Doesn’t work.
My dad (a huuuuge Sebastiani fanatic) gave me a bottle of the 2004 Alexander Valley Cabernet from this vintner, and I gave it a shot, away from the medicinal confines of the company’s tasting room. Not bad. And very much characteristic of the Alexander Valley region (in the northeast part of Sonoma County): A silky wine with almost overpowering currant flavor and aroma. When people say “fruit forward,” this is what they mean. It isn’t harsh, it’s almost juicy. And while you can get mineral and earth hints in the aftertaste, the flavor profile is overpoweringly currant, typical of Cab and inherent to Alexander Valley.
Alexander Valley Cabs are known for young drinking, but I’d prefer to have another couple years on this wine to give it a little more depth and to let those tertiary flavors integrate a little with the rest of the wine. I don’t know how much good it’ll do, though.
On its website, Sebastiani says this wine is reminiscent of a “2000 Haut Medoc,” that “it leans more towards a Bordeaux-style than a California-style Cab.” Now that is crazy talk if I’ve ever heard it. This wine is about as close to Bordeaux as it is to cranberry juice; it’s California Cab all the way, unquestionably. Must be all the Clorox over there.
A- / $30