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Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Review

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Dark Horse  Cabernet Sauvignon Review

California – 2013


Now, I can be quite fussy when it comes to what I like and dislike, extremely so when it comes to wine.

I’m normally quite the traditionalist; my wine racks are full of nice Old-World complex French reds but I am branching out. I have been opening up to wines of the New-World a lot recently but always had a pre-conception about Californian wines. They tend to be the cheap, heavily manufactured and often reduced-to-clear wines in the bargain bins of the supermarkets; so when I glanced at this bottle, I am unsure as to why a sudden rush to grab and buy swept over me; it could be how sultry the bottle looked. I know how odd it is to say any inanimate object has a sexual appeal, especially a glass bottle’s label print, but come on, just look at it, just look at how smoulderingly good that bottle is.


On opening the bottle, you’ll find its neatly printed logo proudly placed upon the cork.

I do like to decant my reds, though of course it’s great from the bottle too, just ensure you open and leave to breathe for at least half an hour before you plan to drink it.

On pouring, its beautifully rich, deep purple-red colouring entices you into the wine even more, it’s one of the deepest reds I’ve seen so I am anxious about tasting it, this I am hoping is going to be an experience.

To appreciate a good wine of course, you first need to savour the aroma. They do say that 75% of taste is actually what you can smell and this wine does not look to disappoint. The aroma is so richly complex. It’s very clean on the nose with a medium intensity; the fragrances that come out are very fruity, I’d say dark fruits mainly, perhaps a good dose of Blackcurrant. It reminds me very much of a Black Forest Gateaux. My taste buds are watering, and I hope yours are too as your reading this.

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon-75cl

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon-75cl


Now it’s time for the big event, the tasting. At first taste, it is fairly surprising on the palate, strong first hit of an off-sweet dark chocolate rather than the dark fruits that came of the aroma, however with further sips, more complex characteristics do indeed develop, especially dark cherry and black berry. It’s a brash first impression though it does hide a well-balanced flavour. It felt as subtle as a sledgehammer to begin, like most Californian’s, but it really has a sweeter more complex heart. It’s a wine that wraps around the tongue and caresses these flavours against your tongue.

One surprising thing is that though the tannin is heavy, it doesn’t have an after taste that out-stays its welcome, it isn’t the shortest finish by far, but it doesn’t stay on the tongue quite as long as I would have expected.


It’s left me to believe that I may have been too quick to pre-judge Californian wines.

Although it is big and bold, it has a lot of character and personality to keep each sip, or gulp, of wine interesting.

I would recommend this wine to drink either on its own, with chocolate or, perhaps with a good hearty steak.


Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Purchased in Sainsbury’s. Price – £9


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