Frei Brothers Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Safeway $18, KL Wines $19.99
The Frei Brothers Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is a stunning Cabernet, another great example from the 2012 vintage. The Frei label started in 1890. In 1970 Gallo purchased the ranch in Dry Creek Valley from the Frei Brothers. Gallo has not only maintained the traditions of the Frei Brothers but have taken the opportunity to upgrade the wine cellar with new equipment and modern day winemaking methods. All the vineyards at Frei are sustainable.
The Frei Brothers Alexander Valley Cab is made up of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Petite Sirah. The wine enjoyed 16 months in French and American barrels. I love the strong aroma of this wine and the taste is just downright delicious. As good as it is now it can only get better with aging. My Safeway has it for $18 for the six-pack price, but I am going to pounce on this wine when the Safeway has their next 30% sale off all wines. That should knock the price down to $16.20 or so but, we’ll have to wait and see. The Wine Spectator rates this wine at 92 points, and I say 90 points and “case worthy.” 39,000 cases of this wine were produced, so you should be able to find it somewhere in your locality.
For me there is nothing like a good Cabernet Sauvignon. The problem is good Cabernet Sauvignon in California is costly, the old “arm and leg” price. So how do you turn an under-$20 Cabernet into a $50 bottle of Cabernet? You buy a good vintage like this one and put it away in the cellar for 2 to 5 years. Most of the recently-released 2012 Cabs in the Napa Valley and Sonoma have benefited from some extra barrel aging. That barrel time adds potential to the aging ability of the Cabernet. 2012 is such a rich vintage that we as bargain wine hunters must take advantage of the opportunity. What a bonanza!