Stonehaven Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Price: $7
Maker: Stonehaven Winery
Variety: Shiraz – Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: Bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10

We recently sampled this Stonehaven Shiraz, and found it to be a real “Box Wine” value, albeit in a bottle. We looked forward with anticipation to trying the Stonehaven Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, and found it, too, to be a great value. The Stonehaven Shiraz-Cab is a nearly equal blend of the two grapes, favoring the Shiraz only by a few percent. The blend is simulaneously less fruity and less spicy than the straight Shiraz. Its aroma is less powerful, with notes of dark fruit and a hint of vanilla. The wine is medium bodied, with its flavor a mix of cherry fruit, soft tannins, pepper, and a bit of astringency. The astringency continues into the finish, with peppery spice coming on stronger as well. Ultimately, we found the flavor to be a bit of a disappointment after our great experience with the Shiraz.

Given the choice, we’d definitely choose the Shiraz over the blend, but confirmed Cab drinkers may find the blend preferable. It’s a very inexpensive wine, perhaps obtainable at a price of less than $5 per bottle with a bit of luck.

Additional Tasting Notes: After this wine had a chance to breathe for a few hours, its character seemed to change quite a bit. Much of the initial astringency went away, and the fruit became much more pronounced. Even the spice seemed to fade a bit as the fruit rose to prominence. Overall, the wine became much smoother and more rounded, and was much more drinkable than the first glass.

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