2003 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Oak Knoll District

Napa Valley Cabernet is pricey, but let’s face it – it can be bloody tasty stuff. At its best, it’s unbelievably good and complex, with flavours that build in layers and challenge your wine brain… At its worst, it’s slutty, has too much booze and dies half-way through the flavours you expect to build – like premature wine-aculation (a New World trend of the last bunch of years).

This wine is not unbelievable, but leans toward the better side of Napa Cab. I had it with a nice steak tonight and it made me a happy boy. The nose is a full dose of dark berry, plum, cassis, vanilla and spice. A sip gives up jammy dark berry fruit, blueberry and a long oak-edged vanilla finish.

This is pretty good stuff, folks. I visited the winery years ago and was an instant fan. This didn’t quite live up to my memories, but it’s a bottle of Cabernet goodness.

It’s a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot to add some colour and depth, carrying 14.1% booze.

$60 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 1/2 stars