Dining & Drink

Cheap Doesn’t Always Taste Cheap

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If you drink a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon like I do, you’ve probably tried a few duds.  Honestly, I’ve never found a Cab I really fell in love with for less than 20 dollars.  (Often times they just taste like flavored rubbing alcohol).  So as a bargain shopper, I tend to stay away from inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon for one reason:  It’s hard to find a cheap Cab that doesn’t taste cheap.

But here I am breaking my own rules, like always, because 2008 337 Cabernet Sauvignon does not taste cheap. It tastes, well… really good!

Hailing from Lodi, California, 337 Cabernet Sauvignon is an interesting specimen.  The wine gets its name from the 337 “clone” of Cabernet Sauvignon, which originally comes from Bordeaux, France.  Clones get complicated really fast, so the easiest way to explain it is this: Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, grapes mutate.  It’s a natural process that happens randomly as a vine ages.  When a vine mutates, it can sometimes take on characteristics that the grape didn’t have before.  The 337 clone, for example, has more fruit forward and black pepper characteristics than other more herbal qualities normally associated with Cabernet.  You’re probably thinking, “but a grape is a grape, right?”  Well, yes and no.  Mutations can actually create entirely new types of grapes.  Pinot Gris or Grigio is actually a mutated form of Pinot Noir.  Weird right?

2008 337 Cabernet Sauvignon

Anyway, this 337 Cabernet clone does amazingly well in Lodi’s gravelly soils.  This area is mostly known for Zinfandel, but the 337 has truly made an impact.

Tasting Notes:  This wine is seriously robust.  Very full bodied, which is something I’ve never found in a Cab in this price range.  Instead of herbal qualities, it has a lot of blackberry fruit up front followed by black pepper, coffee, and chocolate.  A big spicy glass of delicious.

This wine retails for around 10-12 dollars.

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