The single-vineyard wine is an immense bargain, Wine Wisdom columnist Roger Gentile says.
One of the tips indicating a quality wine is when it comes from a single vineyard. This normally means a pricier wine because there is no blending with other juice that would probably come from a large, commodity vineyard.
The 2011 Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon calls the Red Hills Vineyards in California's Lake County home, and that is a very good neighborhood. The nights are cool, days warm, and there is enough altitude that the grapes become water stressed, making for a more intense wine.
I tried this rather young wine over a three-day period, and it only got better with each day. This suggests a wine that will improve over time. The aromas show off a lovely black cherry, tobacco and spice box nose, and the mouth had a very full impression of those dry flavors, while some wood and cassis showed up as well.
Save for the evident youthful tannins, this is a very sophisticated wine. My guess is the wine will peak in three to five years, and by then will be quite appealing. In fact, Vigilance is part of the Shannon Ridge Winery, and this is a really nice second label. The wine sells for $12 a bottle, making it one of the more impressive bargain cabernets on the market.
If your wine place does not carry it, have the manager contact Buckeye Distributing in Columbus.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile's, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.