HandCraft Cabernet Sauvignon with beef vegetable soup.
HandCraft Cabernet Sauvignon with beef vegetable soup.

What: I love finding a good, inexpensive Cab and HandCraft fits the bill perfectly. There are wines for every taste, and I love all kinds of wines, but Cabernet Sauvignon is the one that always seems to deliver.

This Cab is robust but smooth, mellow and not overpowering. The aromas are blackberry and cherry with a hint of black pepper. On the palate the flavors unfold over time, including black cherry, currants, dark chocolate and spices.

This Cab also is one you don’t want to fuss over, trying to pick the perfect word to describe it. This is a wine where you pop the cork, sit back, sip and smile. Big smile. Lots of smiles.

The wine is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Petite Sirah, 2% Sangiovese.

Though 75% of the wine spends 4-6 months in oak (90% French, 10% American), the tannins are subtle and well integrated. The other 25% of the wine is aged in stainless steel, so maybe that tones down the oak. Whatever the cause, the wine is sensuous and smooth, overdelivering at this price.

On the label proprietor Cheryl Indelicato says she includes a small amount of Tempranillo in the wine to amplify rich and complex fruit flavors.

“In this way, the wines are like me,” she says, “with a California home and a touch of Italian heritage.”

From: California

HandCraft Cabernet Sauvignon.
HandCraft Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winery: Gasparé Indelicato moved to California from Italy and planted his first vines for the Delicato Family Vineyards in 1924. He started making his own wines in 1935.

As the business grew Gasparé’s three sons joined the business, and now the third generation of the family is active. The family says it is dedicated to environmentally sensitive and economically sustainable business practices.

HandCraft is a new brand started by the family. Cheryl Indelicato became interested in the wine business as a child, but education, work and raising a family took her away from it for many years.

She returned to the family wine business–DFV Wines–in 1990, and in 2010 she teamed with veteran winemaker Alicia Ysais to create HandCraft Artisan Collection, California wines with a touch of Italian heritage.

The winery harvests grapes from Napa, Lodi, Monterey and Sonoma to craft wines that express the diversity of these appellations. Their brands include Gnarly Head, Delicato, Twisted, Bota Box, Black Stallion, Loredona, Massimo, Brazin, Domino, Fog Head and Irony.
Besides the Cabernet Sauvignon, HandCraft also makes a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a Petite Sirah, all priced at about $12.

They have a tasting room in Manteca, Calif., about one hour south of San Francisco.

Cost: $11-13
Year: 2010
Goes with: Teri and I had this with homemade vegetable beef soup, an old favorite of mine. This is one of my comfort foods, and the wine is a comfort match. You can drink this wine over and over and not get tired of it.

The fruit-forward style pairs nicely with the rich, hearty soup. Cheryl Indelicato says the HandCraft wines are meant to be enjoyed, not fussed over. That’s what I like about this wine, you can simply sit back, sip and enjoy and not worry too much about trying to describe it.

It is a great sipping wine, but also would go well with mellow cheeses, pizza, burgers, pasta with tomato sauce and all kinds of meat on the grill. It’s a good, mellow summer wine, but it will still taste good when the weather gets nippy this winter.

Write A Comment

Pin It