For me, Cab Sauv isn’t a sipping wine. Not made for the patio or the party, but more for the dinner party. Its hefty tannins and deep, dark flavors are a challenge to my palate without the fattiness of food to protect it. But a well-made Cab begs to be recognized as such – celebrated for having achieved a balance of acid and tannins, fruit and oak, and an elegance worthy of any meal. Honig Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley hits all these milestones.
Known for being leaders in sustainable vineyard practices (as well as a super tasty Sauvignon Blanc), Honig Vineyard and Winery has been growing grapes in the Rutherford region of Napa Valley since 1964. But it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the Honig family began producing wine under their name. In 2008, owner Michael Honig pursued the Napa Green certification, to underline his family’s efforts to preserve the land. “I didn’t do it for marketing — for ourselves, since we believe in the process. We want to tend the next generation’s land, ” says Honig.
It’s difficult to trace sustainability efforts back to the bottle, but their efforts behind the 2012 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon show the love. Beautiful black cherry, plum and dark chocolate waft from the glass then show up for the party on the tongue. Tobacco, nuanced and toasty oak, as well as sweet vanilla arrive on the scene later, cloaked in velvet jackets. The flavors are layered, tannins are restrained and the refinement of the Honig Cabernet Sauvignon is undeniable. Priced between $25 and $40 on retail shelves, the quality makes it double down. Honig Winery has been called one of the best kept secrets in Napa and I must agree.
Honig 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Occasion: Blind tasted. Sample sent from winery.
Availability: High end retailers and restaurants nationwide.
Food Pairings: Slow braised meats like Braised Short Ribs, grilled steaks, Slow Cooker Lamb Stew, or even 20 Minute Meatloaf.