The Stark Raving Cab (that’s right, Cab, not Cabernet Sauvignon) is a non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from grapes grown in the Languedoc region of France, with about 15% Grenache blended in. Stark Raving is a Brand put together by Rosenblum Cellars, a leading producer of California Zinfandel. Value priced wines are often non-vintage to keep consistency between vintages, if a grapes from a particular year come out very differently due to weather conditions, more wine from the previous vintage can be added in to keep the flavor profile relatively the same. And that is the thing about Brand wines, they are like fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, no matter what liquor store you are in, if you see a Stark Raving wine you know exactly what you are going to get. With Stark Raving wines, what you get is something a little different from what you would expect. Instead of another inexpensive version of the classic California Cabernet Sauvignon, you get a taste of France Cabernet, with a little silky smooth Grenache added in. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is an opaque black cherry red. The nose is stewed plums, menthol, black pepper, chocolate and blackberries. This wine a nice, sturdy mouthfeel, with smooth dark fruit (with an occasional sour flavor) and a hit of spice on the mid palate. It starts with black and blueberries, fudge brownie and a little creamy vanilla. The mid palate brings in strawberry, pepper and a gentle slap of curry spice. The tannins are soft the acidity is balanced and the finish starts off strong but fades quickly.
The Stark Raving Cab is a very solid tuesday night red wine. Soft and smooth with just enough spice to keep things interesting, this is a Cab that is not trying to be another variation on the same old thing. Pair this Cab with comfort food or drink it on its own.