It’s almost impossible not to have heard of Sonoma County’s outstanding vineyards, but if you’re not familiar, then you may be surprised to know that despite a lower wine output, this famous winegrowing region is about twice the size of Napa Valley. The county stretches across miles of California’s rugged Pacific coastline and is made up of over 425 wineries, with varied microclimates, and different soil types that provide growing conditions for a range of wines. The warm weather, however, makes this region exceptionally good for producing Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sonoma County in 2015
While Bryan Adams still fondly remembers the summer of ’69, wine lovers up and down the country will be singing about the summer of 2015 for years to come. The perfect weather conditions brought a little magic to grape vines across California, as a dry spring allowed for an early bud break, while an extended warm summer and flowering period created small, concentrated grapes with perfect flavor and excellent acidity.
Duckhorn Vineyards, the experts behind the Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, had one of their earliest harvests for a decade and were able to select the grapes for this wine between August and October. Light rain in mid-September nourished the vines and allowed some welcome additional hang time for the still-ripening grapes after the warm weather had caused a record drought in the region.
The Result: Decoy’s Cabernet Sauvignon
After finishing the harvest in mid-October, the carefully selected grapes were fermented for roughly 10 to 15 days, before being transferred to age in 100% French oak barrels, with a blend of 40% new and 60% neutral oak. The final mixture is a perfectly balanced combination of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 1% Petit Sirah and 1% Petit Verdot. Duckhorn Vineyards have been producing the most exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon since 1978, so their expert tasters are able to intuitively balance flavors and create grape combinations for a perfect finish.
A Sensual Delight
At first glance, you will be drawn in by the glass of wine’s deep, inviting burgundy color. The enticing aromas will then start to awaken your senses, with juicy blackberry and currant coming through, as well as rich, indulgent cocoa. These flavors are well known to come from the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the Sonoma County region, thanks to the excellent terrain and conditions, and these notes are showcased excellently in the Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
When you’ve finished admiring the appearance and aromas of the wine, your first sip will definitely not disappoint. On the palate, the lush, ripe dark fruit flavors will quench your thirst and complement the similar berry aromas, while also being framed by the rich tannins. Subtle hints of sweet oak and spiciness elegantly complement the intense fruit flavors and create a more-ish and balanced finish. With an alcohol level of 13.9%, this wine isn’t too heavy to be enjoyed over a relaxed dinner, yet still provides quality and depth.
Cabernet Sauvignon: The World’s Favorite Wine
It takes a lot of love to become the world’s most planted wine grape varietal, and Cabernet Sauvignon has exactly that. Although this noble grape is in fact relatively young (it can be traced back to a combination of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc) it has still rightly earned its title as the “king” of red wine grapes.
Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its small, purple berries with intense dark fruit flavors and thick skins that provide rich tannins and give a real depth of flavor to your glass. This grape prefers warm, yet consistent environments and although originating from France, it is now grown worldwide and is one of the most celebrated outputs of the US Napa Valley and Sonoma County regions.
How to Enjoy the Wine
If you have just made your first purchase of Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, congratulations! The next step is to decide how to enjoy this wine at its best. While it can easily be sipped and savored alone, there’s also a great range of dishes you can prepare to accompany this wine and enhance its fantastic flavors.
We recommend sticking to hearty, high-quality meat dishes such as prime-cut steak, venison or burgers. If you’re an Italian lover, then a tomato-based dish such as Ragu or Bolognese will work perfectly, as will a mushroom pizza topped with parmesan cheese. Whether it’s a meal for one, a family gathering or a dinner party to impress, this bottle of wine is guaranteed to be loved by all and your new-found knowledge of the excellent vintage conditions will impress even the best sommeliers.