Winery/Vineyard: Wiens Family Cellars, 60% Temecula Valley + 40% La Cresta “Refugio Vineyards”
Product/Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Joseph Wiens, Doug Wiens
4.3 out of 5 stars of Vivino.
How They Describe It
Appellation: Temecula Valley
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Oak: 18 months in French and American, 30% new
60% Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
40% La Cresta Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes: Invitations of warm cinnamon and nutmeg greet your senses with our 2017 Refugio, leading into a dark fruit core of black plum and ripe blackberries, deepened with notes of browned toast and French roast coffee.
From vine to glass, our family is dedicated to producing harmoniously balanced and skillfully crafted wine, while fostering a culture rooted in the idea of family, quality, and integrity. Since the Wiens family gathered in 1996 to plant our first vineyard, we have maintained our standards of releasing the highest quality wines with a passionate sense of pride and integrity.
Winemaker’s Notes: Since our first vintage of Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon, we have dedicated extra attention from vine to bottle, starting with meticulous vineyard maintenance, to tasting and selecting the perfect barrels to create a wine with ample richness and tannin structure, ensuring our Refugio exemplifies our “Big Reds” motto year after year.
Food Pairing Ideas: Filet mignon with blue cheese compound butter, grilled lamb chops, duck confit
How I Describe It
The Wiens 2017 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon comes across as shimmering medium ruby. Interestingly, there are hints of purple in the hue, perhaps from extended skin contact during fermentation.
The nose on the Wiens 2017 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon begins with a spash of black currant, vanilla, and blackberry. In addition, layering underneath are rose, spearmint and lavender, with a touch of black licorice and charcoal.
Those who enjoy dark fruit won’t be disappointed. Blackberry, black currant, black plum, and black pepper burst from the glass. Bell pepper and asparagus characteristics from the capsicum are detectable, but not overbearing. Bread dough, charred wood, coffee, and vanilla manifest from 18 months in oak. A buttery mouthfeel adds texture and viscosity.
With only 0.2% residual sugar, the 2017 Refugio Cabernet is a dry wine. 13.6% ABV is considered medium by global standards. Tannins and acid are both medium-plus, balancing astringency and juicy tartness. The wine has medium-plus body, with medium-plus flavor intensity, and a medium-plus finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
The Temecula Valley AVA is a region which has both a rich history as well as a ton of entrepreneurial potential. Consequently, quite a few Temecula wines come with great stories behind their creation. The Wiens 2017 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception.
The name Refugio ties to the vineyards in the La Cresta highlands where 40% of the 2017 vintage’s wine came from. In past decades, the land was used as a horse rescue. The property has since been converted to vineyards, but the Wiens family wanted to honor the land’s legacy as a horse refuge.
The Wiens 2017 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon is also a delicious combination of grapes from both the Temecula Valley AVA’s valley lowlands and hilly highlands. La Cresta’s elevation is almost 1,100 feet higher than the valley floor, exposing the grapes to more direct sea breezes and a noticeably cooler average daily temperature. As a result, these differing microclimates produce grapes with unique flavor characteristics, which you can taste in the wine.
When & How I Would Drink It
Wiens Family Cellars specializes in “Big Reds”, and the 2017 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon fits the bill. Above all, big, rich wines deserve to pair with big, rich foods. While grilled meats are a staple, additional options include beef stroganoff, Swedish meatballs, chili, or sausage with peppers.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $69.00 ($55.20 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 270 cases
Have you tried the Wiens 2017 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.