Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Designation: Kiara Private Reserve
SubRegion: Central Coast
Appellation: Paso Robles
The Little Wooden Guy appreciates an under-$20 California Cabernet with something other than OAK!!! to offer. For some reason, he takes the over-use of wood personally.
The nose opens strong, with several layers. The initial attack starts with blackcurrants with a background of cedar and sage. A slightly bitter nutty smell follows, best described as pecan shells, and it is all over a faint sweet floral background.
Blackcurrants are the primary fruit on the palate as well, but there are nuts and some flowers there as well, almonds and lilac. The mid-palate is tart, like lemon/lime suddenly poured over the fruit, nuts and flowers. Mouth feel was this and the finish short.
The nose is less interesting but more classically Cabernet Sauvignon on Night Two, mostly blackcurrant, with some eucalyptus and a slight floral background.
The palate is more classic as well. The fruit is blackcurrant and elderberry, followed by cedar and maple, then a tarter finish with some plum skins. Tannins are very fine. The oak made a bigger appearance on Night Two, showing up in the cedar and maple.
Overall, and for the price, this was pretty good. Mouth feel was thin, but at least on Night One it avoided the over-oaked tendencies of so many California Cabs in this price range.