The Rex-Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon is a non vintage wine sourced from more than one California grape growing AVA. About ten years ago Rex-Goliath was a pretty reliable supermarket wine, back then it was Hahn Estates entry level wine sourced from grapes grown in Monterey and the Central Coast. The brand has since been sold off to Constellation Brands (they own Robert Mondavi Winery, Simi and Ravenswood along with many others), so I thought I would revisit this Cabernet to see if it is still a reliable wine (it is less expensive now, I found it on sale for $4.99). They say the wine receives used French and American “oak treatment,” which may or may not mean oak barrels were used for aging or it could mean that oak chips or barrel staves were tossed into the wine aging in stainless steel tanks. This is a “drink it now” wine, not intended for cellaring, the use of oak is for flavoring, not aging properties. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is black cherry red with an almost clear halo. The nose is plum, raspberry, Nestle Quik powder, with a little musty smell. It starts off smooth, blackberry, strawberry, faint dark chocolate, with a late hit of creamy vanilla. The mid palate adds some tart, slightly candied cherry and a bite from the tannins. A proper Cabernet Sauvignon should have tannins, so that bite is a good thing not a bad thing. The finish is subdued and not long lasting.
In this age of Cameron Hughes and Trader Joe’s buying excess or distress sale wine and then selling the wine at vastly discounted prices, it is hard for a mainstream producer to compete with grapes they can purchase and still fit the profit margin. The Rex-Goliath Cabernet isn’t a $15-$20 wine selling for 5 bucks, what it is a decent inexpensive, tuesday night out on the patio grilling up some burgers kind of wine. That killer Cameron Hughes or TJ’s wine won’t be the same or won’t be available next year, but the Rex-Goliath will still be rolling along.