“A good laugh,” Steele Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

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Sonja worked in Iowa yesterday, a two hour commute from our home, and will be back there two more times next week. At the same time, the school year and cross country season are gearing up for me. With both of our time being dominated by our jobs, a clear signal that despite the intense heat of early August in Nebraska, summer is clearly at an end, the time we get to spend together as a family becomes all the more precious.

I got home a little before Sonja and the kids, so I showered off the sweat from practice and then hurried back downstairs to greet them. Titus helped me grill dinner while Zooey, who doesn’t feel well right now, cuddled with her mom. Knowing I had steak to grill, I didn’t want to leave the meal unpaired with wine. Fortunately, I had one more bottle of Steele on the shelf, and fittingly for our cuisine, it was a Cabernet Sauvignon.

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The 2016 Steele Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills in Lake County is a beautiful wine. Robust with an alluring bouquet of classic Cabernet scents, the heart of the wine lies in the elegance bestowed upon it by supple, unimposing tannins. Eighteen months in French and hybrid barrels do much for the flavor profile — blackberries, currants, black cherry, and a pleasant pattern of spices underpins the wine, which finishes quietly, not lingering too long, perhaps suggesting you go ahead and take another sip already. At 3,200 cases produced, you should be able to locate it fairly easily, and at 14.2%, it has a classic California Cabernet feel from start to finish. I told Sonja I thought it might be the best Cab I’ve ever had from Lake County — and that’s saying something.  I decanted it for about half an hour, and it paired perfectly with out bacon-wrapped filets and charred brussel sprouts. In the under $30 range this wine is another great value from Steele, and I highly recommend it.

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As we sat at the dinner table enjoying the company of our family after a long day, Titus announced: “I want a drink of wine!” to which Sonja replied “Do you want to smell it?” Regular readers know that Titus often smells our wine. “No,” he responded. “I want a drink.” This was new to us, and lead to a longer conversation — but not before a good laugh was had by all. Ultimately, Titus settled for a sniff. “What does it smell like?” I asked him. “Ummmmm…” he pondered for a moment, before giving forth emphatically with his usual answer. “Wine!” We’ll keep working on it.

Cheers to time spent with our loved ones at the end of a long day,

Mark

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