2012 Novelty Hill Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1217851 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Appealing aromas of cocoa, vanilla and spice intermingle with dark fruit. The palate brings plenty of the same, with pleasing richness and texture to the flavors, and lots of hang time on the finish. (SS)  (9/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Incorporating 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, the 2012 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is another terrific wine from this estate that shows the house style with its plump, soft, fruit-forward personality. Giving up lots of currants, licorice, dried herbs and tobacco leaf, I suspect this is best consumed over the coming 4-5 years, but wouldn’t be surprised to see it hold nicely for longer. Mike Januik keeps releasing a bevy of beauties under his Novelty Hill label. These are always fun to drink and extremely well priced. (JD)  (6/2015)


 Bright, deep red. Subtle floral lift to the aromas of dark cherry, currant, cedar and tobacco. Suave, fine-grained and dry, offering restrained flavors of redcurrant, fresh herbs, menthol and spicy oak. Finishes with suave tannins and subtle lingering sweetness. A fairly sophisticated entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon. (ST)  (11/2015)

Wine & Spirits

 Dark and coffee-scented, with a plush middle, this ripe red has lavish, caramelly oak flavors to adorn its simple plum fruit. For a barbecue.  (12/2015)

Wine Spectator

 This smoky style weaves charred notes through a sleek core of red cherry and red plum flavors that come out the other side with clarity on the finish. Best after 2016. (HS, Web-2015)

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Price: $19.99
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By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/11/2015 | Send Email
The perfect no-brainer, easy drinking Cab that's food-friendly, with lots of fruit and rich velvety texture. A for-sure crowd-pleaser. I haven't tasted a well balanced $20 Cab like this in a while, so get your hands on some!

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/11/2015 | Send Email
Soft tannins, lush fruit, and a subtly chalky finish make this a crowd-pleasing bargain from Columbia Valley. Powerful but balanced with a lovely acidity that will stand up to food, Novelty Hill impresses at $20 and is a gorgeous introduction to Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon.

By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/10/2015 | Send Email
If balance, structure and acidity are buzzwords for you, than the Novelty Hill is the cabernet for you! While I enjoy ripeness and fruit in my wine, I also need acidity and balance because I'm usually having it alongside a nice cut of steak, so this Novelty Hill cab is the perfect fit! Beautiful black currants and dark chocolate play nicely with the silky plush texture to make this Washington cab over-deliver for its $20 price tag.

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2015 | Send Email
This wine has the fruit, acids, and tannic structure of a fantastic Napa Valley Cab for less than half the price. Lush dark fruits sit easily on the palate with hints of chocolate and cassis helping the finish. There is enough acid to brighten the wine, without making it sharp and the weight nicely balanced over all. Easily one of the best Cabernets in the store for its price, this is a great find for the upcoming holiday season.

By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2015 | Send Email
This is a very serious Cab at a seriously low price point. Lush black fruit, baking spices, licorice, and sage fill the palate then taper into a fine, granular tannin on the finish. This bottle may be the best (certainly top 5) value Cab under $20.

By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2015 | Send Email
While most here in the wine-knowledgeable state of California can get by with a lot of the “local” wineries, I am still shocked at times by the lack of awareness of the great wines coming from the Pacific Northwest. If you asked most people that come into the shops if they have ever heard of or tasted the wines from Novelty Hill, you probably get a resounding “no” from most. Well, here is your chance to get up-to-date about one of Washington State's great, value-driven wineries. This 2012 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon comes mainly from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard, which acts as the estate vineyard, and a few other sites. Carrying plenty of power and certainly over-delivering on the $20 price point, this has sappy notes of oak toast, molasses, tar, black currant and olive on the nose. Plush, mouth-filling and full of soft, velvety tannins throughout, this has plenty of five spice, cocoa powder, crème brulee, Asian plum and a lovely violet highlight on the palate. Complete and fully weighted, this is a ton of wine for the cost and is perfectly placed as crowd-pleasing Cab--just from a different place and in a slightly different style.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.4