It isn't in the least sweet, but the richness of the 2009 Concannon Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon (widely available at $10 or less) would make a delicious dessert with a little nibble of artisanal sharp white cheddar. Of course it also will go well with a really herby pork roast with lots of rosemary or a nice spice-rubbed sirloin tip.
This cab is one of 10 wines sourced from various vineyards on California's Central Coast for Concannon's Selected Vineyards series of uncommonly good value wines. The richness of the wine is testament to the efficacy of small-lot barrel fermentation and of aging red wine in oak. The trouble taken is amply repaid in the lush mouthfeel and intense fruit of a beautifully balanced cab.
It kicks off with a potent bramble and black cherry nose and segues into an initial explosion on the tongue of the same bramble and black cherry beautifully rounded by luscious dark chocolate and aromatic ripe plum. The finish is luxuriantly long and languorous, with hints of white pepper and root beer chiming in at the finale.
This is a wine to be savored. Happily, the price makes it as easy on the budget as it is exuberant in the glass.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.