“Finishing Strong.” Review: Cadaretta Cab. Sauv. 2013

This summer has my schedule a bit wonky, to say the least. I have clung desperately to my morning workout routine; by 5:30 each day I’m lifting weights, by 6:30 I’m running with my XC team. It’s a good workout, and gives me the energy and the sense of accomplishment I need to get through these uncertain summer days.

Uncertain. During the 10 months I’m teaching, I pee when a bell tells me I may; I literally time my coffee breaks to try to control my bowel movements. I’m “on” like a politician for a hundred minutes at a time, striving to say the “right thing” three to four times a day. I’m not special; all teachers go through this. But it’s undeniably difficult, and adjusting to the relative freedom of summer can be just as much so.

These days, after practice, I start with a cup of coffee and checking my email. Each day, I solicit more donations for the charity auction I’m hosting this fall. I write. I read. I watch my little girl Zooey, now 6 weeks old. I tried to nap once, but it didn’t take. I ask my wife, who is working, to watch Zooey for short stretches so I can run the occasional errand. I garden. I write poetry that nobody will likely ever read. I try to balance our budget. I dream of returning to California. In short, I’ve gone from hyper-structured and peeing on a bell schedule to almost no structure and having to account for my own time and whereabouts at any given moment. It’s not a simple adjustment, but things like morning workouts and cooking dinner at night have served me well.

That brings me to tonight. I swung by the grocery store earlier to pick up some potatoes and asparagus, and paired them with some thick filets and a bottle of promising wine. To be honest, I’d forgotten this shipment from Cadaretta was coming, so when it arrived yesterday, it was like Christmas in June. I wasn’t familiar with this producer, but had heard great things. The things I had heard didn’t live up to the wine I had tonight, however.  I poured a glass as I cooked, and immediately upon tasting this beauty was far more excited for dinner than I had been prior to.

The 2013 Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley in Washington is simply killer juice. My favorite wines from that region all seem to offer a combination of boldness and gentle spices, which I found to be true with this wine as well. Full-bodied and rich with a dark black fruit profile laced in delicate yet unmistakable spices, I decanted it for an hour, and it more than held up to a thick Nebraska beef filet. That said, after dinner, we took a walk, and after the walk I put our eldest, Titus, to bed. Then I poured the last of the decanter, and I’ll honestly say that the wine evolved from start to finish, opening up to even more spices and earthy flavors, black coffee and more, all atop the same black fruits from before. Some three hours after I decanted it, this bold beautiful Cab is still evolving — how wonderful! Unmistakably well made, this gorgeous wine benefits from a lot of time on oak, specifically 22 months in small French oak barrels. 80% Cab Sauv, 9 % PV, 6% Merlot, 5% Malbec, this wine is 100% impressive and has made me into an instant fan of Cadaretta. A last glass of this gorgeous Cab and a blog post (this one) was an outstanding way to end the night.

My life is changing. I’m in a lull where I don’t know what to do with all my time, leading up to an autumn that will promise me a course overload, plus two college classes (teaching, not taken), a XC team to coach, endless meetings, a class audit, article deadlines, charity events,  field trips (including one to Israel), board meetings and more. With all that looming, the best possible thing I can do with these long summer days is to drink a glass of excellent wine and fully relax myself, and tonight I did just that. If you’re familiar with Cadaretta, you’re going to love their new releases. And if you’re not, well, you need to be. Make time to try them out (no matter how busy you may be). They may just help you to relax and appreciate life.



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