2007 Tre Cellars California Cabernet Sauvignon

Better Than Jug Wine

Tre Cellars is the supermarket-bound, $10-price-point wine label of Guglielmo Winery, in Morgan Hill, CA. Not a ton of wine is made in the Santa Clara Valley home of Guglielmo, certainly not as much as in the Napa and Sonoma valleys to the north, nor the Santa Cruz Mountains to the south.

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2007 Tre Cellars California Cabernet Sauvignon

Even Guglielmo's premier label, Guglielmo Private Reserve features just three wines (Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Rosatello) that are marked as "estate bottled & grown," leading one to the natural conclusion that Guglielmo buys a lot of grapes from grape growers, and is primarily a winemaking outfit. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that.

However, wine is as much about where it's from as what's in its bottle. In order for an American wine to use an AVA designation on the label, 85% of the grapes in the wine must have come from that AVA. Which is why when I see a label name its home as simply "California," I get just a little nervous. What's in the bottle? Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the cool heights of Howell Mountain above the Napa Valley is going to be very different from Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the sunbaked fields of Lodi. Et cetera.

Not surprisingly, this wine has very little character. It says very little about itself. The color of the wine is a bit tawny in the glass, especially around the edges, but it does get nice and ruby red near the very core. The nose is a bit hot, but features some black fruit notes, and a nice spice note, like cinnamon, that, while I don't normally attribute such an aroma to Cab Sauv, was pleasant.

The wine is medium-bodied, but lacks any complexity whatsoever. Some very basic red fruit spars with some alcoholic heat (a bit surprising considering the wine clocks in at a modest 12.5% ABV), and there isn't much else there.

That having been said, the wine is $9.95. It's far superior to jug wine and lots of other California supermarket wines. It's just not something I would choose to drink or can recommend.

Verdict: C-

(full disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample from Folsom & Associates)

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