Review: 2021 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignons – Napa Valley and Paso Robles

Review: 2021 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignons – Napa Valley and Paso Robles

When people say something’s a “textbook” example, we know exactly what they’re talking about — especially in the wine world. It’s a genius name for a wine brand, with Jonathan Pey and Abi Horstman blending California fruit with European-inspired winemaking to produce “textbook” examples of the most popular California varietals — with a particular focus on cabernet sauvignon.

These two wines are the latest releases; both are exceptional in both quality and value.

2021 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve – Tart and raspberry-driven up front, this Napa cab (blended with small amounts of the classic four additional Bordeaux varietals) quickly shifts to show off its juicier side after a few seconds lingering on the tongue. Ripe notes of currants, violets, and a light touch of chocolate add depth to the wine, though an odd note of tomato leaf gives the late game a curious herbaceous quality. Increasingly silky as the finish develops, the wine is rounded and ready to drink today, though perhaps showing a little on the sweet side as it finishes. A- / $46

2021 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – A wildly surprising wine, lush with cherry, currant, and raspberry notes. It quickly reveals itself as one of the juiciest and most fruit-forward cabernets I’ve encountered, particularly from the often austere Paso Robles. Lightly herbal notes evoke some of the Paso terroir, though a semi-sweet cherry note perks up the finish, making room for light touches of milk chocolate and vanilla. This wine lays everything out for the drinker, showcasing all its (many) charms right from the start. Don’t expect a lengthy journey of discovery, but do settle in for an effusive and unabashedly enjoyable ride. A great value for a Paso Robles cab. A / $27 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

2021 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles




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