Maker: Oak Leaf Vineyards, Ripon, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
We’ve been hoping for a Two Buck Chuck beater to emerge, and it looks like Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon may be it. This non-vintage offering is sold by Wal-Mart, and seems to be aimed squarely at the Charles Shaw wines sold through the much smaller Trader Joe’s chain. The nose is a rather unprepossessing mix of oak and vanilla. The flavor has lots of cherries and raspberries, along with vanilla. The finish is oaky with prominent tannins. Overall, this Cab is simple and juicy. It has a nice finish for a cheap non-vintage wine. There’s an unusual residual berry flavor, almost perfumy, that lingered on the tongue.
Overall, Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon beats its $3-range competition like Two Buck Chuck and Tisdale. It’s all relative, of course. None of these are great wines, but to my taste this is the most drinkable one of the bunch. Plus, it has the advantage of widespread distribution via Wal-Mart.