2016 Olema Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $27)

SKU #1384864 92 points James Suckling

 Lots of black currant and blackberry aromas with hints of wet earth and spice cake. Medium body with a solid center palate of ripe fruit and fine tannins. Soft and silky. Delicious finish.  (11/2018)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Lastly, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County is outstanding and reveals a ruby/purple color, attractive notes of black cherry and blackberry fruits, plenty of tobacco leaf and graphite, medium body, and nicely integrated acidity. It’s a classic Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that tastes like it cost 3-4 times the price. It will keep for a decade.  (1/2019)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot and 1% Petite Sirah aged 14 months in 50% new French oak, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema is deep garnet-purple colored and features textbook cassis, warm plums ad blackberries notions with hints of cedar, sandalwood and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, it bursts in the mouth with juicy, crunchy fruit, framed by soft tannins and a lively line, finishing on a refreshing minty note. (LPB)  (10/2018)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a value-driven proposition of well-made wine, with tiny amounts of Petit Verdot, Merlot and Petite Sirah. Earthy in clove and dark backing spices, it has a wealth of soft blue and black fruit backed by firm easygoing tannin and integrated oak. This is one to hoard. (VB)  (7/2019)

K&L Notes

The 2016 Olema Cabernet Sauvignon, made by Amici Cellars, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes hand selected off premier vineyards in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek and Rockpile in Sonoma County. This wine opens with deep aromas of fresh cassis, ripe plum, black cherry, blackberry and a hint of vanilla. The body is medium-full while the mouthfeel is dense with juicy dark fruit and grilled plum. The finish lengthens with dark chocolate, cranberry, and herbal notes of thyme and mint. 2016 was one of the greatest vintages of the past decade. Generous winter rains brought much-needed rainfall to saturate the root zones and replenish reservoirs. Moderate temperatures and bright sunshine enabled the vines to thrive throughout the spring and summer, creating a balanced, optimal growing pace. Warm days and cool nights during harvest season allowed ripening to progress at an even pace, creating exceptionally deep color on late-ripening varietals such as Cabernet. The resulting wines show vivid, complex flavors, balanced acidity and tannins, and excellent freshness."

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Price: $24.95

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/15/2019 | Send Email
Crafted by the same winemaker (Anthony Biagi), in the same winery as Amici's $200 Cabernets from Spring Mountain, Beckstoffer To Kalon, Missouri Hopper and Morisoli vineyards. Amici have been racking up huge scores recently (98 points from Jeb Dunnuck for their 2015 Spring Mountain Cab) and to be honest I can't think of any other winery that has the prestige and pedigree they do...where you can still buy some of their offerings for such reasonable price points! Here's a rocking bottle of Cab, from the same stable, that you can afford to drink any night of the week. It's very easy to see why The Wine Advocate pegged them as one of the very best value producers in California...and right now we have an even hotter price than usual!
Top Value!

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2019 | Send Email
Amici's Olema label has really dialed into the qualities that make a Venn diagram of quality wine to fair price to regional character. The 2016 Sonoma Cabernet has all the hallmark flavors ranging from black cherries and roasted plums to cocoa powder and allspice. It is supple and rich and flows across the palate with a silky finish. It is great to see this wine continuously over deliver for its modest price and the 2016 is one of their best to date.

By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2019 | Send Email
What a great buy in Cabernet! The 2016 Olema Cabernet is loaded with flavors of coffee, mocha, and black cherry cola fruit. This medium bodied wine shows a supple, round, silky texture that coats the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Tasting this wine blind one would think the price point would be closer to $40!

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is complex, layered and shows a slightly more savory character rather than a bowl full of ripe berries. While this is not ebulliently fruity it doesn't show the green olive/tomato leaf under ripe character, this is fully ripe and you can see that on its palate presence. The wine has a weight and density to it but it shows great length and lift, characteristics I usually don't find in California Cabernet in this price range. The finish is long, balanced and shows a bit of an umami earthiness, a great deal at the price range.

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.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9