19 August 2011

2008 Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon

During the early summer, I spent a lot of time over at Paul's place in a combination of housesitting and hanging out with him before his departure to Nashville. One one of the "steak nights" he produced a bottle of the 2008 Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon from Roots Run Deep Winery. I had the 2005 two years ago and really enjoyed it then.

Frankly the label is still one of my favorites, and makes me a bit nostalgic because you don't see chalkboards that often these days. Yes, whiteboards are easier and don't involve a lot of dust, but I love the classic slate and chalk as well as that palimpsest quality you get from the previous erasures. There's also the ritual of the chalkboard: you begin the semester with soap and water, washing it all. You carefully shake a stick of chalk out of the pack--heavier than a cigarette, but more delicate. Do you bang the erasers together or whack them against a brick wall? Chalk dust accumulates in dunes down in the rail, and at the end of the semester, it's time for another thorough washing.

We enjoyed this wine with a set of ribeyes, creamed spinach, and wedge salads, as God intended.

2008 Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
$20, 14.5% abv.
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Please give this at least half an hour to breathe. It doesn't necessarily need to soften, but it requires a short period of time to fully open up so that you can enjoy all the characteristics. There's a rich mix of leather, licorice, and black cherry. Underneath there is a touch of toasted caramel. On the palate, the wine has a deep black cherry and spice flavor with medium tannins and just a little acidity. This is a California Bordeaux-style blend done right at an incredible price. Highly recommended.


Paul M. Jones said...

One of my all-time favorites.

Samantha Dugan said...

When we were tasted on this wine I told our domestic buyer that he had to bring it in. As you may have guessed, it is not my style but I knew it would be easy to sell and that people were going to love it. Been running with it for about a year now and it's always on the reorder list. Nice little go-to under $20.00 Cabernet for us.

Benito said...


Damn straight. It's one of those that I need to keep an eye on so I don't go another couple of years without trying.


I think it has a lot in common with Chateau Greysac. Not necessarily flavor-wise, but a solid wine from a good region at the $20 range, and a reliable choice if you need to bring something to dinner or give as a housewarming gift.


Do Bianchi said...

like Samantha, I gotta say, "not my style." but man folks love this wine... Tracie P and I tasted with the dude once in Napa... not exactly the most soulful wine I've ever tasted, but they sure love it down here in Texas... blog on, brother...

Benito said...


Old world, new world, schlemiel, schlemazel... For me it tends to depend on what mood I'm in. I'm sure you get this question a lot: "What kind of wine do you like?" I always reply, "What's the weather like, what am I eating, and who am I dining with?" Because it's going to be a different answer based on a lot of different factors.