Substance Cabernet Sauvignon

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon – Top seller on

2016 Substance Cabernet Sauvignon by Charles Smith

Did you read our article on top selling wines of 2018 Wine.Com?

The 2016 Substance Cabernet Sauvignon by Charles Smith was the top seller. Is the wine worthy of that honor? We put it to the test. See what we found.

I spotted a bottle at my local Costco this week for $12.99. That’s two dollars less on and no shipping costs. Total Wines in San Mateo carries the Substance Cabernet Sauvignon for $12.97. That evening we drank the Substance Cab with chicken and pork Paella.

I recommend opening the bottle at least an hour before drinking. My first impression was disappointing. After 15 minutes in the glass, the aroma was very apparent and enticing. The wine opened up and showed its true character. The Substance needs breathing time, as it is a young wine.

I was surprised to discover how pleasant this Cabernet Sauvignon tasted. It has plenty of blueberry flavors along with some cassis. For a Washington State Cabernet, I think it is a little lighter than most. But, that is a good thing.  The finish is excellent. Overall, this is a very good-tasting Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jeb Dunnuck, the wine critic, rates the Substance a whopping 93 Points. He says “Just pretend you paid three times the price.” Dunnuck also estimates it will age up until the year 2025. I say drink it now and enjoy it. I go with 89 points. My wife Janelle likes it as much as Jeb Dunnuck. Ladies, take notice.

Other Substance Cabernet Sauvignon Details

The Substance is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 12 months on the lees in 50% new oak. The grapes are from the Columbia Valley. The Columbia Valley is very large, with several sub-AVA within its boundaries.

The richness of the Substance at this value price speaks volumes about the wine-growing region of the Columbia Valley. The latitude is the same as Bordeaux and Burgundy. The growing season is long, and the amount of daily sunlight hours is much more than in the Napa Valley. Add in the amazing soils and irrigation, and it all adds up to a spectacular environment for wine grapes.


Yakima Valley, a sub AVA of Columbia Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Yakima Valley, a sub AVA of Columbia Valley

About winemaker Charles Smith

Charles Smith has become an icon among Washington State winemakers. Charles began making wine in 2001, and since then has been named Winemaker of the Year by Food and Wine Magazine (2008) and by the Wine Enthusiast (2014). Charles has several labels, most of which are funky and unusual. His wines are mostly inexpensive but always of high quality. One of our long-time favorites has been the Charles & Charles Rosé wine. It sells for around $9 and is a terrific value.

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