The Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is one of the many labels from Delicato Family Vineyards, a family-owned winery since 1924. The Noble Vines line of wines is dedicated to showcasing grapevine clones. A clone is when a grapevine with particular characteristics, resistance to pests and disease, and growing and flavor traits is grafted to the rootstock to duplicate the original vine.
The 337 Clone featured with the Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a grapevine that Growers created in the Bordeaux region of France. The 337 offers a moderate yield and, when subjected to a long growing season where it can reach optimal ripeness, makes a fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon.
There are many Cabernet Sauvignon grape clones available; some clones are available in only one specific vineyard and not available for use in other vineyards, to clones that are widely planted. Clones are not of major importance for value-priced wines. But they are a major component of high-end estate wineries’ flagship wines; often, the clones used are unique to the winery and are important to the wine.
All this makes the Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 a value-priced wine geek wine. This is not simply a well-priced Cabernet from Lodi; It is a lesson in what the 337 clones can offer when farmed in California’s Central Valley. This is a rare opportunity to get to know a particular grape clone in this price range; I found it for around $12.
Lodi is located south and east of Napa Valley and would be too far from the Pacific Ocean to have a large wine industry if it were not for San Pablo Bay. The Bay is inland and is south of Sonoma and Napa. River valleys and a delta reach all the way to Lodi, and these valleys are the location for Lodi’s vineyards.
It can get warm during the day, but when the sun goes down, the cooling winds from the Bay offer a large temperature variation between night and daytime. This differential in temperature is essential to allow the grapes to have a full growing season.
The Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is fermented in stainless steel vats and then aged in a combination of French and American oak, and a portion aged in stainless steel and not oak. French and American oak each give different flavors to the wine. This is very basic, but French oak can give chocolate flavors, while American oak offers vanilla. It is more complicated than that, but that is a general idea.
The Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has a heavy Napa-style bottle with a deep punt (that indentation in the bottom of the wine bottle); the producers want you to know this is a serious bottle of wine. The alcohol content is 14.%.
Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is a clean, still see-thru garnet red with black highlights. The nose is sleek and lean; there is blackberry, pepper, oak spice, ripe cherry, light herbs, vanilla, and cinnamon. The Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has excellent structure; this is not a “dumbed down” Cab; it has structure and tannins.
It starts with extracted blackberry, sour cherry, spice, black pepper, and faint bitter dark chocolate. The mid-palate brings hazelnut, blueberry, a salty sensation, dusty tannins, and light herbs. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon that does justice to a Porterhouse steak or a steak burrito.
Over the years, tannins have largely disappeared from my tasting notes; tannins became increasingly sweeter and softer. While this is not negative for a juicy, drink-it-now red blend, a real California Cabernet Sauvignon needs tannins. I am glad to see the Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has proper tannins.
- The Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a tasty, well-priced Cab. I am a fan of Lodi wine; they seem never to fail to bring bang-for-the-buck.
- While knowing which grape Clone was used in your favorite well-priced wine is rarely a significant factor. Mainly since, most of the time, multiple clones are used. Having insight into how the grapes are chosen is good to know.
- The Noble Vines lets you get your wine geek on while drinking a solid Cali Cab Sauv.