Maker: Graceland Cellars, Santa Rosa, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Last night was the first warm evening in months, so we fired up the outdoor grill for the first time to make some burgers. This seemed like a good occasion for a fun red wine, so we uncorked a bottle of The King Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, also known as “Third Edition.” We have to admit, we were a bit suspicious of a novelty label like this. As it turns out, we had little to fear. The nose is powerful and pleasant, a mix of juicy berries, herbal notes, and pepper. The flavor is also juicy, with plum and cherry notes balanced with a bit of oak and soft tannins. The finish has a pleasant touch of acidity. This wine isn’t big and complex, but its structure and simple fruitiness will make it a crowd-pleaser. We’d love to bring out a few bottles of this at an informal outdoor party, where its label will be a conversation starter and its flavor will satisfy most wine drinkers.
Graceland Cellars appears to be the major collectible label offering from Signature Wines. We were familiar with Signature from their offering of small run private label wines for weddings, corporate gifts, and special occasions. In addition to Elvis-themed wines, they also have deals with Ducks Unlimited and various colleges and universities. It looks like a key strategy in marketing these wines is to label each year and varietal in a different manner to encourage collectors to buy them all. Not a bad strategy, though as drinkable as The King Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 is, we’d hate to see it gradually turn to vinegar on someone’s shelf. Enjoy the wine, save the bottle.