Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Review


It had been something of a long day already when my wife informed me that she wanted to go car shopping in the evening. I couldn’t argue the necessity; my Camry has 153K miles on it and, in the words of my mechanic, “needs professional help”. Specifically, it needs about $8,000 worth of said help, servicing everything from the suspension to the dash lights, help that I’m unwilling and unable to afford to an eleven-year-old car, no matter how faithful it has been to me over the years.  Reluctantly, I agreed to go look at new cars, even though my body was begging me just to sit down in my fireside chair with a novel and relax.

At the car lot after dinner we found a few good options. One, a use Corolla with almost no miles on it, I asked the dealer to hang on to until Saturday so I could drive it and see it again in the light. Also tonight, I once again  managed to dodge the minivan bullet that I continue to fear will one day be the death of any part of my current incarnation that may ever have resembled youth or swagger. Tired, yet feeling victorious, I finally returned home for a glass of wine.

After putting Titus to bed and taking some diapers to the laundry (cloth, of course; I’m not so cheap that I’d attempt to wash a disposable diaper) I stepped into my cellar on a mission. My friend Jay had first clued me in on Abeja wines,  and I knew their Cab would absolutely hit the spot on this late, cold winter night.

One of my favorite wines from the Cab review I wrote for Food & Spirits, which is soon to be released, the 2013 Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon is truly a thing of beauty. Pronounced “ah-BAY-ha” and Spanish for bee, these Columbia Valley producers are, in my estimation, doing some of the best work of any winery in the state of Washington. From my recent review: This Cab offers a huge, dark nose of gushing purple and black fruits, hints of cinnamon spice and cracked white pepper. Glassy smooth on the assault, with a collection of holiday baking spices, gingerbread, and faint nuttiness mingling amidst dark fruits that play second fiddle to the rich umami flavors. Long and dry on the finish, it drinks well now, but this is a wine I’d happily lay down for a decade if not two.  It was the rich array of spices I had previously raved about that got me excited to pour a glass of this tonight. Warming, elegant, complex, and refined, it’s a soothing, comforting wine, and the perfect conclusion to a long and tiring day.

I’m grateful to Sonja for making me go to the car lot; I think I’ll buy the low mileage Corolla I had the dealer hold for me after I test drive it on Saturday. Like this Abeja Cab, it’s far from the cheapest car on the lot, though it’s also not the fanciest or most expensive, yet the quality and longevity are undeniable, and I expect that, just as this wine is meeting a very important need in my life right now, so too will the Toyota meet my transportation needs. Huh… maybe I should take one of my Riedel glasses back with me Saturday to see if it will fit into the cup holder. (Just kidding; I’d never drink and drive.) (sample)




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