2016 Z. Alexander Brown Cabernet Sauvignon

With some members of the CigarHawk Facebook group requesting reviews of wines under $20, I figured I’d give this bottle a try. While it’s Zac Brown’s wine venture, I assumed it was more novelty versus trying to create a wine business, and was I wrong.

This Cabernet is grown in the North Coast region of California, which is known for producing Cabernets, Zinfandels, Merlot, and Chardonnays. The temperate climate helps produce a more expressive and fresher wine.

After letting the wine breathe for a half hour, the nose presented well balanced fruit notes, and very mild acidity. My first few sips had notes of blackberries, some mild spice, and light tannins with mild acidity. Also, my initial swirl left good legs on the glass. Additional sips were well balanced, with mild tannins, and a pleasant amount of fruitiness that’s not overwhelming.

For under $20 at every major grocery store, this cab should age well for another 5-10 years. If you’re impatient like I am and want to drink wine as soon as you purchase a bottle, this one fits the bill as it’s not overly dry but has good fruit flavors. I’d pair it with grilled lamb, pork chops, or a mildly spiced Maduro cigar.

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