A few weeks ago I was at my favorite wine retailer and glanced over the Cabernet section. The store was selling the 2011 Honig Cabernet at pretty good price. I don’t mean any disrespect to the 2011. As a Honig product, I am sure the quality will again be outstanding; I am just not normally a fan of Napa Cabs with a vintage one or two years prior to the current year if I am planning on opening it soon. I’ve mostly found them not be “ready” yet, still tannic. The 2010 Honig, though, is a well-regarded vintage that is more than ready and worth digging to find.
On whim, I decided to start pulling bottles of the 2011 off the shelves. The funny thing about distribution to retailers is that often there are random bottles of a previous vintage delivered with the current release. Sure enough, at the very back of the stack I hit gold. A bottle of the 2010 was hiding behind all of the 11s. Jackpot.
The wine starts with a wonderful fruit aroma of raspberry and black cherry. The feel is rich and full with the addition of tea and spice on the front palate. Mouthcoating tannins are present, but don’t distract from the extended finish.
As a marketer, I also appreciate the wonderful design that connects the wine with the bottle, label and brand. The look is bold and iconic without being gimmicky. I honestly believe that in buying bottles at retail, branding matters, from confidence of selection all the way through the enjoyment of the wine. The winery also has a wonderful story, which they could benefit richly from telling more widely.
At about $30, this is more than I would normally spend for a regular weekday wine, but the quality is far above the price and when fortune smiles, I try to make it a habit of smiling back.