2005 Twenty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Twenty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Twenty Rows Cabernet is the brainchild of Brian and Lori Nuss. It's a counterpoint to their Cabernet Franc-based proprietary red called Vinoce. Twenty Rows is a structured, fruit-forward Cab that tastes like a special-occasion bottle but is affordable enough for everyday consumption.

The fruit in Twenty Rows comes from the some of the top estates in Napa Valley. Brian, a general contractor by day, has been building homes and wineries in Napa for the better part of the last thirty years. It turns out that building wineries is a great way to break into the wine business. Brian is now friends with a number of the key people in the industry, after these veteran winemakers tasted Brian's early vintages of Vinoce in the late 1990s, they encouraged him to try making fruit from their own vineyards.

The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from two vineyard sources in the Napa Valley: one on Diamond Mountain and the other in the Yountville foothills. Brian blends in a little bit of Howell Mountain Merlot, which contributes silky tannins to this powerful yet elegant wine.

This is a youthful, bright-fruited Cabernet Sauvignon that manages to stray away from the green steroid bombs that pass for $20 Napa Cabernet these days. In contrast, here is a wine that is plump, rich, and yet avoids the drying tannins that bring harshness and bitterness. This is a bottle that is built specifically for early drinking.

Suggested food pairings:
Springtime is here. A nice pasta dish with spring vegetables (peas, carrots, baby onions) would be wonderful. Sprinkle it with good olive oil and some grated hard cheese, like Grana Padano, and you're good to go.