The winemakers at California's Beaulieu Vineyard, commonly abbreviated to the initials BV, really know how to coax cabernet sauvignon grapes into giving up their fullest savor, whether in their deliriously gorgeous flagship Georges de Latour Private Reserve vintages (which go for about $125 to $135 and are darn well worth it) or in their more accessibly priced cabs like the 2011 BV Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which is widely available around Tampa Bay for $20 or less.
This dark red wine is intensely fruit-forward, starting with a nose of ripe dark fruits, chocolate cherry and a hint of mocha. The complexity and supple structure of the wine declare themselves on the tongue, with big blackberry leading the way. Cassis, wood smoke and mocha chime in soon after the first burst of fruit, along with a touch of clove and a lightly oaky grace note. The finish is long and velvety.
A good cab is the ultimate partner for red meats, of course, but this one also will pair well with a rich and creamy fettuccine Alfredo or ravioli stuffed with four cheeses and dressed in an alla vodka red sauce.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.