Dog House Checkers’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Dog House Cabernet SauvignonPrice: $8
Maker: Dog House Winery, Santa Rosa, California
Varietal: Merlot
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Don’t let the screw cap and cute label put you off – Dog House Checkers’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 is a big, fruity, crowd-pleasing cab. Its nose is a mix of dark berries, spice, and tobacco. The flavor is fruit-forward and not particularly dry, with cherry, berry, oak, and chocolate notes. There’s black pepper in the lingering finish. Complexity is medium – Dog House cab no one-note wonder, nor is it likely to send serious wine drinkers into ecstasy. This is the kind of wine to bring to a barbecue, or to serve to a group of wine drinkers with varied palates and levels of sophistication.

We tried Dog House Maxie’s Merlot a week ago, and liked that wine too – perhaps a bit more, even. Still, both are highly accessible, inexpensive red wines with plenty of payback. Others have commented favorably on the Dog House Cab. The Easy Wine Drinker comments, “Nice, smooth, a bit on the sweet side for a Cab, but overall a nice, affordable bottle of juice… A good party wine / house wine.” The Naked Vine says, ‘The big blackberry jam nose on this wine gives way to a slightly oaky red with some nice background tastes of licorice. The finish is very gentle for a cabernet sauvignon — not terribly tannic with some lingering smoky flavor. Very easy to drink — the Dog House would be a good “transition cab” for people who enjoy mellower reds like merlot and are interested in giving drier wines a try.’

To see some of the media comments on this wine, visit the Dog House Winery website.

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