The big four –Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, International Wine Cellar, and the Wine Advocate– all liked this wine. None of them loved it, but they all gave the wine a solid rating in the high eighties. Since they NEVER  agree on a wine, I had to pick up a bottle from my local wine & spirit shop. I am  glad I did.

It starts off with a classic aroma of pencil shavings and pepper. That is followed by tobacco leaf and ocean air. Medium bodied, the palate goes to espresso and berries. A mineral and earth note echoes through the dark fruit. The finish brings in olive tapenade, black pepper, and allspice.

I wasn’t familiar with Goose Ridge Vineyards before this bottle, but I will be keeping an eye out for their new releases. The winery was founded in 1998, and remains family owned to this day. It’s a medium sized winery with just under a thousand hectares under vine. This allows them to do 100% estate bottlings, which is very rare at this price point.

This is a classic New World-style  Cabernet, and that means a simple food pairing: a steak grilled medium-rare. Leave off the black pepper and add a bit extra salt.  If you aren’t a meat-and-potato kind of foodie, then a chunk of aged Parmesan will do the trick.

Their winemaker Charlie Hoppes left in 2010, with Kendall Mix of Corliss Estates winemaker taking up the reins since.