The Poppy Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA inside California’s Central Coast AVA. Poppy has not updated their production notes for the 2015 vintage, but the 2014 Poppy Cab was sourced from the B & E Vineyard in Paso Robles and I expect that the 2015 vintage came from the same vineyard. Poppy is a project run by the Silva family who has farmed land in the Salinas Valley for 45 years and they started the Poppy line of wines (a Chardonnay, 2 Pinot’s, and a Cab) in 2003. The Poppy Cabernet was aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a cherry red with black highlights. The nose has some terrific California Cabernet aromas, blueberry, cedar, vanilla, blackberry, raspberry, a little spice, and some fudge brownie. This is a young Cabernet Sauvignon, especially for one that was aged 1 1/2 years in small oak barrels (the smaller the barrel the more contact the wine has with the oak, big barrels equal less contact) and while I expect a good % of used barrels were in the mix, this is a nicely balanced Cab. The oak flavors the wine but does not overpower it. It tastes of ripe blackberry, along with sweet blueberry, black pepper, cigar tobacco, and plum. The mid-palate adds toasty vanilla, spice and black cherry. The tannins are there, they inform the flavors do not intrude on the drinkability. The acidity is well-balanced, this will pair with anything from an aged New York strip to a Chorizo burrito. The finish is full and long.
The Poppy Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is a solid real-deal California Cabernet, that should be found in the $12 to $15 range. This is not a “not bad for a 10 buck Cab Sauv”, it is the genuine article that just happens to be reasonably priced. You expect a California Cab to have a good dose of French oak influence and that is something value-priced Cabs tend to skimp on, but the Poppy’s oak flavors are right on. The Poppy is a highly drinkable, very well priced California-style Cabernet Sauvignon. (note: California-style Cabernet is fruit first then balance and structure, the French-style is balance and structure first, then fruit….sometime I am in a Cali mood and other times I am in a French mood when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s all good).