But, all that changed the night I met renowned California winemaker Joel Aiken at Corkbuzz. Joel, well respected for his work as winemaker at the iconic Beaulieu Vineyards, had a new project - a collaboration with Derek Benham, who has overseen numerous successful wine projects in a long California career. Their recent collaboration has led to Scattered Peaks Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sourced from prime Napa vineyards including hillside sites, the wine had classic Napa fruit character in that it was beautifully ripe - not overripe. The wine was deeply colored with inviting aromas of Cassis and rosemary. On the palate, there were dense blackberry notes and hints of dried herbs. The full bodied wine was lush with well integrated tannins and a long finish. A recent glance at wine-searcher put this wine on the East Coast in the range of $29.99.
With the pedigree of Joel Aiken and prime Napa vineyard locations, the quality of this wine is pretty much assured - but tasting made me a believer that quality Napa Cabernet Sauvignon was now within reach.