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
$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.