2009 Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 L

Year: 2009
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
James Suckling: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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“This is amazing value in California Cab. It’s hard to believe. Aromas of fresh herbs with currants and blueberries as well as mint. It’s full body with velvety tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of fruit but not overdone and not over alcoholic. Drink and don’t worry.” (JS)

"The translucent color and light body warn against aging this wine, but why would you want to? It’s delicious right out of the bottle. Rich in black currant, cherry, violet and cedar, it’s a blend of all five of the classic Bordeaux varieties. - S.H. (12/31/2012)" (WE)


This is the first vintage of Waterstone Napa Cabernet that I have tried since there quite good 2002 and as soon as I tasted this 2009 at dinner I said to my wife, “this is a remarkable Cabernet especially at it’s $19.95 price tag.” What is most impressive is the wines classic Napa Cabernet character with it’s subtle (not over powering) fruitiness, tastes of cherries and currants, tannic balance and (most important) velvet like elegance. If served blind, I would have guessed right away that it was a Napa Cabernet, probably selling for around $40 to even $60, which is at double and possibly triple its actual $19.95 price. At three years of age it is now quite drinkable and will keep well and possibly even improve a bit for a coupler of years and last another 5 or 8 years.

The story surrounding Waterstone Cabernet is that it comes from “declassified” stock of some of Napa Valley’s famous “cult” producers. Though I have heard several stories that most of it comes from a particular well known cult winery I could not fine verification, so I’ll just leave it there -- with the added proviso that it sure fits this rumor.

The wine is an interesting blend of all the five Bor¬deaux red varieties, with a final mix of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and a 1% dab of Malbec. Aging was entirely in French Oak for two years and from barrels of which 80% were new. Total production was 6,314 cases.

RATING: 92 (Compared to other Cabernets for under $20, it deserves a 97).

PRICE: $19.95 **** bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to wine bargains)

Winery Notes:
2009 proved to be a mild, relatively cool growing season. Without much frost nor many heat spikes, the lack of rain (2/3 of normal for the third consecutive year) did not present any challenges. Overall, the vintage provided extended hang time for the grapes without excessive ripeness, leading to forward, bright fruit with mature flavors and tannins.

Well-established hillside vineyards are the foundation of this wine, giving the finished blend its intense inner core of fruit. The complexity and balance of this vintage was achieved through diverse sourcing.

The grapes were hand picked at optimum ripeness. Following destemming, the grapes were stainless steelfermented and received extended skin contact before being transferred to barrels. The wine was aged in small French oak barrels for 24 months (80% new barrels) where the wine completed malolactic fermentation. The wine was racked prior to bottling.

Tasting Notes
With its Bordeaux-like presence, this wine is deep, rich, and lingering. Firm, integrated tannins frame the concentrated, dark fruit (currant, black cherry, wild berry, plum.) Toasty oak and an earthy edge add to the wine’s great complexity.