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Michael Pozzan Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
A Great Wine for Starting Wine Enthusiasts
It was a normal Friday night and I was working at the wine bar, when a couple came in who had already had dinner. They were looking for possibly dessert or a cheese plate, but mainly a bottle of wine. Easy enough for me to satisfy their needs, I handed them our wine list, and told them I'd be back in a few moments. After what I had thought had been sufficient time to absorb our list, I returned to them, and their wine list was closed. I asked them if they had made a decision or if they had any questions. They told me they were looking to me for a suggestion, giving me three requirements; affordable, North American and Cabernet Sauvignon.
When taking on the role of choosing a customer's wine, price is important, and the term "affordable" is very ambiguous; I asked them if they could give me a price range to stay within. $40 was their limit. Once all the viable information for choosing their wine was received, I, without hesitation I might add, quickly ran over and picked up a bottle of the 2007 Michael Pozzan Knights Valley Cabernet. After giving them a rundown of flavor profiles, and the price, $38, they agreed and allowed me to open the bottle. The bottle was opened, the tastes were poured, and they were very, very pleased with "our" decision.
After a few minutes I came back over to check on my customers, and they had smiles from ear to ear. We then got to talking, and the gentleman asked me if I usually recommended this wine to customers, (because of how detailed my description was) and after a few moments of thinking, it set in for me; this was my "go-to wine", probably selling at least five bottles a week. I had not had a glass of this wine in quite some time, but yet the flavors were so appealing to me that I remembered them, and sold this wine, not only on a regular basis, but also sold it with passion.
At the end of my night, I was determined to remember why I loved this wine, why it was my "go-to wine” and why I sold this wine with so much passion. I opened a new bottle and poured myself a glass. I was unable to detect much of a smell when the cork was removed, but once I brought the glass to my nose I was able to pick up on some bright, yet tart fruit, along with a bit of earth and dirt-like smells. I have to say, the nose was not too strong, but had some complex aspects.
I inspected the color of the wine; it was a deep ruby, with purple undertones, almost reminiscent of theater velvet curtains. I put the wine glass to my lips, and déjà vu sent me back to the very first time I had ever had this wine. The flavor was full of fruit at first, black currant being the most overwhelming, along with some ripe raspberry. Once the fruit finished there was a nice shift into some Madagascar vanilla bean, and dark chocolate. Then, just as the wine hit the back of my pallet, the dark chocolate made a wonderful transition into earthiness. The finish then was just the earthiness, but quickly ended, making for a finish that did not linger too long, falling just a bit flat at the end.
After finishing the glass of wine, which had not really opened up or changed much throughout the course of drinking, I was able to affirm why this wine was my choice for them. The wine itself is not extremely sophisticated, and 2007 may not be the best year for Cabernets either, but this wine was one of the first Cabernets I had tasted on my journey into the world of wine. The flavors are simple and you do not need to be an expert to pick up on or appreciate them. The flavors offered in this wine are signature of California Cabernets; and go just a hair beyond.
I would have to admit that since my ideal flavor profiles of wine have changed as my knowledge has grown, I do not enjoy this wine as much as some others, but I certainly appreciate it. It offers complexity while being so approachable. When rating this wine, many factors are taken into account, and I am giving this 2007 Michael Pozzan Knights Valley Cabernet 85 points. 85 points puts this wine right at the cusp of Bombastic. It deserves to be Bombastic due to its subtle complexity, but I cannot rate it higher due to the areas in which it is lacking. But, at this price point, this bottle is perfect for those who would like to just drink a bottle, sans food, or for the beginners trying to break through into the realm of tasting wine.
Angela Campanella – Wine Reviewer and Contributor
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