The California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 is a $5 Target exclusive sourced from vineyards located in more than one California grape growing AVA. California Roots is made for Target by Trinchero Family Estates whose wines include, Charles & Charles, Menage a Trois, Joel Gott, Folie a Duex, The Show, and 3 Thieves (along with many others), in other words they have a long history of producing quality affordable wine. The California Roots is also a private label (Target gets this wine directly from the producer) which cuts out much of the costs that would go to a distributor, since there isn’t any advertising costs and the distributor does not have to go store to store to convince wine shop owners to carry the brand. So by reducing middleman costs and negotiating a price directly with the winery Target can offer a wine for five bucks that may well sell for $7 or more if it reached Target thru regular retail channels. Trader Joe’s, Costco, and ALDI are all doing huge business with private label wines, in fact Costco is the largest wine retailer in the US and their private label Kirkland Signature wine is a big part of their success. No wonder Target wants to join in on the fun. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a dark opaque ripe black cherry red. The nose is jammy red berries, with more oak spice than you would expect from a five buck wine, along with new-mown lawn, Red Twizzlers, and cinnamon. This is a medium bodied, reasonably dry, fruit forward (but not overly fruit-forward) Cab. It tastes of a mix of blueberry and cherry, a little vanilla, and plum. The mid-palate offers mocha powder and a slight herbal edge. The tannins stay out-of-the-way and the acidity is well matched with the body of the wine. The finish starts off strong and slowly fades away.
I have found that it is hard to find a solid Cabernet Sauvignon at a very inexpensive price point, since we expect a Cab Sauv to have very particular oak barrel flavors which are costly and time-consuming to produce. Five buck wines need to be quick and easy to produce. With that said, the California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 drinks just fine. They somehow got enough oak influence into the flavor profile allow this taste like a California Cabernet. It is not super complex or layered, but what is there is tasty. Ten years ago, this is what $10 Cab Sauv had to offer and today 5 buck Cabs are hitting that mark. I think that if I’m looking for a California Cabernet Sauvignon I would pay a few bucks more and get something that comes closer to the expensive stuff. But at 5 bucks, the California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 does just fine.