The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is sourced from several California AVAs, but all the vineyards are located on hillsides. Hillsides are nothing new for wine vineyards; most grape-growing locations are river valleys or foothills of mountains. But, hillsides offer some unique advantages in farming grapes.
Vines planted on the side of a hill or a slope allow the sun to reach each row equally. Taller vines do not block the sun from shorter vines. Grapevines need to struggle to produce interesting wine grapes; too much moisture and too many nutrients from the soil are actually negative.
When it rains, the water runs downhill, giving the roots a short drink; the water running downhill also washes some nutrients out of the soil. The restricted moisture and the not so fertile soil are ideal for wine grapes. Rainwater pooling around the base of the plant can also cause mold and offer an opening for disease. In short, hills are good for wine grapes.
The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is a brand from Bogle Family Winery located in the Clarksburg AVA. Clarksburg is situated south of Sacramento on one of the river valleys that flow east from the San Pablo/ San Francisco Bay. For years the vineyards in Clarksburg sold the majority of their grapes to other wineries from different AVAs. Bogle is changing that trend, and they have a well-deserved reputation for producing excellent wine.
This Cabernet Sauvignon may include some Clarksburg grapes, but the website has a video for a vineyard in Sonoma and another in the Sierra Foothills, east of Napa.
Not all hillsides are created alike; which side of the hill the grapes are planted do matter. Do the grapes get morning sun or afternoon sun? A gentle slope will be different than a steep slope. There is more to grapevines than hillsides, but hillsides are important.
The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is aged 13 months in a mix of new and used French oak barrels. I have recently reviewed a string of aged wines “on” oak, not “in” oak, meaning no barrels were used. It is good to see a California Cabernet Sauvignon aged in the proper manner.
And then there is the label. The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 has a label that does stand out on the store shelf. It depicts a lion/beast in the style of the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta (think mythical warriors fighting demons) and combined with 18th and 19th-century Japanese art. The label is something to behold. There will be an accompanying podcast (link below or on the main page) where we discuss the importance of the label when choosing a wine you are not familiar with.
The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is not inexpensive; I found it on sale for $15. I prefer my Cabernet Sauvignon to have more production techniques than the typical value-priced Cab ( some cheap Cabernets do surprise me, though), and the $15 range is where California Cabernet Sauvignon starts to shine. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Tasting Notes
The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is smooth on the palate with rich and bold flavors. The color is a clean, clear, still see-thru crimson red with black highlights. The nose is dark and brooding; black cherry, spice drop gummy candy, dark chocolate, ripe plum, spice, coffee, and vanilla. If you like your Cabernet spicey, this is your wine.
It starts with the flavor of ripe blackberry, a shot of exotic spice cooled by creamy vanilla, chocolate powder, and plum. The mid-palate adds orange zest, tart cranberry, black licorice (I know licorice is black, but I grew up on Twizzlers), and a slight pull on the back of your palate from the tannins (an excellent and needed element for Cabernet Sauvignon).
While this is a bold Cab, it is balanced. The flavor and the structure all do their roles.
- With the Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 the roaring beast on the label signals a rip roaring wine. Studing the label reveals depth and details, sipping this wine offers bold flavors expertly crafted into a delicious wine.
- I had noticed this wine on the shelf for a month or so, but passed it by. I am glad the label finally called me to make the purchase. This is a fun wine to drink.