Review: 2019 Rose Vine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Review: 2019 Rose Vine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

This past weekend (August 11, 2023) marked the official 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop, a culture and lifestyle which has changed the course of American art, style and music numerous times. I personally count myself as a lifelong student and fan who has felt this impact and believe my life has been exponentially enriched by the countless producers, DJs, MCs, and street artists who continuously redefine the soundtrack to the American zeitgeist.

Hip-hop has also produced more than its fair share of seismic shifts in late-stage capitalism, and will most likely continue to do so for the next 50 years as it continues to evolve and set the tone for a large majority of consumers. The world of spirits has not been immune to these changes. Who amongst us has not had our lives blessed with the presence of Snoop’s Indoggo Gin, Diddy’s Ciroc or DeLeon, or Lil’ Wayne’s Bumbu? The collaboration between Anthrax and Public Enemy on a Malbec*? Co-partnered branding has firmly integrated itself into both cultures, and the latest in this long line of enterprising endorsements comes via a partnership between Wines that Rock and ’90s hitmaking juggernaut, Ja Rule.

Throughout his career, Ja has seen his ups (collaborations with Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez, and top 20 singles without collaborations) and downs (Fyre Festival, a forgettable liquor line simply christened “The Mojito”), but for better or worse he always seems to pivot, evolve and stay at the top of the game. Let’s find out where this latest project lands on that spectrum.

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon originates from the Alexander Valley AVA, was created under the supervision of Truett Hurst head winemaker Ross Reedy, and was aged 24 months in French oak. Big and ebullient, it falls neatly into line with similar cabs from the region, with notes of black currant, dark chocolate, and black cherry forming a juicy core and notes of baking spice, blueberry and vanilla adding accents and complexity throughout. The finish is lingering, and a long-awaited arrival of oak and spice makes an appearance as the fruit influence diminishes. It’s medium-bodied with fine tannins and lively acidity that never takes away from the focus.

The good thing is: This is a fantastic cabernet that would shine regardless of whether there was an endorsement attached to it, a testament to the craftsmanship and labor behind it all. The collaboration between masters Reedy and Rule is a winner, and hopefully, one that carries forth with subsequent future vintages. The bad thing? It may not be around too much longer to check out.

A- / $100 /

*I made this one up. But Chuck D/Scott Ian: if you ever stumble upon this, I implore you to take this idea under the strongest of consideration.

2019 Rose Vine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

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