September 29, 2008

Sonora Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

I think Sonora Ranch is Mission Hill's cheapo label. I've been looking for confirmation on the internet, but it seems to be a state secret. Nothing on the bottle gives it away either - it's a product of the "Artisan Wine Co." from Oliver (their website is particularly thin and uninformative). Mission Hill is not in Oliver, but I still believe Sonora Ranch is MH's way to pawn off their low-grade product.

Well, wherever it's from, it's cheap and it's good. There is no year on the label, so I'm guessing it's a mix of different "vintages" (using that term loosely). But you know what - it's not bad at all. Despite a hint of grape jelly, it's a fresh and full-bodied cab that probably wouldn't do well in a blind tasting but is still pretty good and very drinkable. I'm on my second glass, just to back up that last point. A little too jammy to be confused with the big dogs, but it has pretty good balance and enough body to hold it's own.

And when you factor in the price, it's a damn good deal. Cheap reds can be a real crapshoot, but this one is pretty reliable. Good with pizza or spaghetti and meatballs.

81 points. $8.50.

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