Winery/Vineyard: Akash Winery / Warner Springs
Product/Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
AVA on Bottle: California
How They Describe It
Fresh aromas of fresh green bell pepper, baking spice and slight black pepper show on the nose of this superbly elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s lively and vibrant on the palate with cherry, cranberry, and strawberry flavors.
How I Describe It
The Akash Dreamville 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon shows with medium color intensity, and with shimmering ruby red hue — typical of younger Cab Sauv’s.
Winemaker Renato Sais very clearly chose to feature the wine’s fruit characteristics of anything else. Black currant, cranberry, and raspberry emanate from the glass with fairly pronounced intensity. Herbaceous eucalyptus and lavender provide undertones, alongside wet stone and green bell pepper. Yeast and oak manifest with aromatic aged cheese, vanilla, toast, and bittersweet cocoa.
Black currant and raspberry dominate the fruit profile, while bread dough, cream, bell pepper, and white pepper supply spice. Vanilla, toast, and pipe tobacco contribute elegance.
The Akash Dreamville 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry wine. At 14.2% ABV, the alcohol level is high, both by global and varietal-specific standards, though you can certainly find even more boozy Cabernet elsewhere. Additionally, medium-plus acid and medium-plus tannin give the wine a somewhat lighter medium-plus body. However, the flavors are pleasantly pronounced and a medium-plus finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
First and foremost, I want to address this wine’s AVA. It uses a generic “California” AVA on the bottle label. Normally, this would disqualify the wine from being reviewed here. However, the one exception I’m willing to make is if the specific vineyard is identified, and if it’s located in the Temecula Valley or South Coast AVA. In this case, Akash identifies on the bottle that the grapes came from Warner Springs. Warner Springs sits in the South Coast AVA — therefore, totally legit for TWR. In fact, we’ve reviewed a wine from Warner Springs in the past. So, that’s the reason the Akash Dreamville 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon lands a spot on Temecula Wine Ratings despite its California AVA label.
In full disclosure, the bottle described here was donated by Akash Winery. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
The Akash Dreamville 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a new release, and at only two years old is a fairly young wine. The subtle tannins hint at neutral (i.e., previously used) oak barrel aging — or at least minimal barrel usage. Using neutral oak is far from a bad thing. In fact, some wineries reuse oak barrels for nearly 100 years. While the wood continues to smooth out some harsher flavors, it preserves the wine’s fruitiness without adding flavors. That’s what you find in this Cab Sauv. All things considered, this wine can likely age well for a few more years. Between the natural grape tannins and the higher alcohol content, the flavors could continue to mature for some time without spoiling.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for wines with a story. This wine is part of a three-bottle Dreamville series, a victory lap of sorts for winery owner Akash Patel and his family, for achieving their lifelong dreams to own a winery. The full story is on the back of the Dreamville wine bottles. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Akash’s father’s favorite varietals, making this particular bottle a fitting tribute. Make no mistake, the Patel family deserves this victory lap. As one of the newest wineries in Temecula, they’ve done a tremendous job in such a short time.
When & How I Would Drink It
The fruit-forwardness of this wine makes it an ideal pair for grilled steak and roasted lamb. In addition, peppercorn-based sauces (very common in French and Northern European cuisine) would complement the fruit and tannin content, as well.
The Akash Dreamville 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon bears some resemblance to many Paso Robles Cabernets — like what you might find from JUSTIN Wines or Daou Vineyards — though with a slightly more boozy kick. If you’ve ever gravitated to those types of wines in the grocery store, and especially if you want to support local winemakers, this is an outstanding choice.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $39
Cases Produced: 236 cases
Have you tried the Akash Dreamville 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.