Wine Label
2008 Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon East Side Cuvee
September 14. 2010
574 Orders
4883 Bottles
Sold Out

Vineyards of Napa Valley
2007 Carl Roy "East Side Cuvee" Member Feedback:

Average Rating: 4.04 stars out of 5

***** Smooth and Tasty
"Very balanced right from the first day (OK so I don't know about the second day because it didn't make it to the second day). Also delicious and smooth. A surprising bargain."
--Bing of San Diego, CA

***** 07 Carl Roy
"Hello Carl, Hello Roy, Hello Cab, Hello Steak. It's all good! Can't wait to taste the mountain fruit version. Might have to add a sixth star."
--Timothy of Painesville, OH

***** Yummy
"So delicious, and you cannot beat that price!"
--Alexandra of Tyler, TX

***** Carls' Cab
"I really enjoyed this silky Cab!! As usual, I wished I'd ordered 2 cases. I shed a tear everytime I open a bottle, knowing I'm nearing the end of the case. As for your services, first rate all the way!! Oh my, it's time to pull a cork!!"
--Eric of San Marino, CA
The 5-star Follow-up

The amazing story of the emergence, in this topsy-turvy Napa Valley Cabernet market, of a small brand called Carl Roy is worth repeating. In some ways it's a story of how tough things are. In another, it describes what high quality newbie brands need to do in order to survive.

We got the first call just when the ball dropped on Bear Stearns; another seemingly hopeless request from an undercapitalized Napa winemaker who had jumped into the market head first only to find the water glacier cold. This time the label didn't bear the name of a son or daughter, but of a grandfather. The winemaker called it Carl Roy.

A week later, Fred the FedEx Guy dropped off a 4-pack: two bottles each of a 2005 Howell Mountain Merlot and Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines weren't just good, they were beautifully concentrated, infused with mountain structure and length. Both wines were offered on WineAccess, the Cabernet for $50, and the Merlot for $35. Buyers went gaga. But that hardly mattered when the market nosedived.

What's been most surprising about the Carl Roy success story? Unlike most who dove into the frigid market waters in 2008, splashing around frantically trying to hold onto unsustainable price points in a market that was having none if it, Carl Roy quickly adapted. In 2006, all of the Mount Veeder Cabernet was sold off before the market bottomed out. The winemaker not only recouped his money, but made some. Then he went back to the numbers on the Excel spreadsheet and scrapped plans to build a winery. He could survive, but only if he kept costs variable.

Carl Roy resurfaced in 2007 with a sensational, darkly opulent Cabernet called "East Side Cuvee," made from a couple of small, handpicked spots on the east side of Highway 29. Then the winemaker called us again and made the offer that brought the WineAccess house down.

That wine sold out on WineAccess in hours. How could it not at $25/bottle? We weren't complaining, but we had to ask -- "Why so cheap?" "Simple," we were told. "We can either sell it fast for half price or pay warehouse storage costs for a year, logging frequent flyer miles and spending our life in baggage claim."

Two weeks ago we received the bottled wine we'd barrel-tasted 4 months ago -- the 2008 Carl Roy "East Side Cuvee." How does it compare to a 2007 that 201 of 243 customers rated 4 or 5 stars? It doesn't. It's a perfect 5-star follow-up.

The 2008 Carl Roy "East Side Cuvee" is deep purple in color, packed with cassis fruit, a bit wound up with its small berry Oakville pedigree. The core is lavish, dark and powerful, packed with muscled density and refined ripe tannin structure.

One big difference with the 2008. This is a Cabernet of superb pedigree, structured for the long haul. Give it time, preferably in a cool cellar, alternatively in a carafe for a couple of hours before serving.

Label Image Tasting Notes from the WineAccess Travel Log

2008 Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon East Side Cuvee
"Deep purple color. Dark, honed, ripe cassis aromas. Superb concentration at the core with fine layers of cassis and crushed red fruit perfectly offset by excellent ripe tannin persistence. Drink now -- if you can't wait -- but make sure the wine spends a couple hours in a carafe before serving. We spent three days with this. It barely budged!"

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