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Today's Wine:

2011 Cardinal Rule Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Cardinal Rule Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

2011 Cardinal Rule Cabernet Sauvignon Buy it for a friend!
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Today's Wine Comments:

A brand new label for us and for the world, but the source is one of Dry Creek’s most established sites—the Scharf family vineyard just next door to award-winning Preston Vineyards. This inaugural Cardinal Rule Cab is a lovely, balanced red. The wine-drinking world’s going to see a succession of great Dry Creek Cabs from these guys, if their first release is any indication!

Perfumed with springtime flowers and wild berries, this single-vineyard Cab is a charmer on the nose and palate, where both feminine and masculine characters meld together in harmony, and juicy red fruits dance on the tongue. A core of sleek minerality and addictive menthol and tobacco notes add complexity and intrigue. Our Panel could find nothing missing in this classic Dry Creek Cab… well, nothing missing except an inflated price! In place of that, we’ve thrown in Free shipping on 6+ bottles.

As a lighter, more refreshing style of Cab, this is the perfect red wine to drink with turkey, chicken fish, though it certainly can hold its own with steak and burgers. The wine’s bright, lively profile makes it especially delightful with spicy, Latin-based flavors.

Reasons why we love it:

This single-vineyard Cab was born in a sweet little nook of the Dry Creek AVA just across the street from Preston. This part of Sonoma County boasts rolling hills under which lurk the famous volcanic “red soils” that put Dry Creek on the map. Cabs from this appellation are typical more elegant with brighter red fruits in place of Napa’s more brooding dark red and black characters.

Winemaker Adolfo Alarcon tank fermented this Cab to preserve its inherent freshness and aged the wine for just shy of two years in American oak, combining new, used and neutral wood to round out the wine’s body and tannins without imparting a strong oaky influence.

The cardinal rule behind this name of this label is not exactly the same rule you tell your children over and over again. Here it’s: Drink what you love. Love what you drink!

With an aroma of rose petals and fresh berries, this 2011 Cardinal Rule Cabernet smells almost too good to drink. But once you’re done swirling the wine around, examining its beautiful color and sniffing the glass (we’ll give you a moment), you’ll get to taste the wine’s bright red cherries, ripe raspberries, and red currants that so beautifully evoke our home turf (our “terroir”), the hilly volcanic red soils of the bench lands of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County.


Over 30 years ago, the Scharfs planted the very first grapes in their family vineyard in picturesque Dry Creek Valley, California, just North of Sonoma. From its humble beginnings, the vineyard has continuously produced high quality grapes, produced in small quantities and cared for greatly.

Years later, three Los Angeles families - The Scharf, Loui, and Akens families, came together over a love of wine, food, and family.  Through our wine, we’ve been able to cross generations, share memories, and spend a lot more time in Sonoma.

Our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon grapes come from the same family vineyard, while our Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Pinot grapes are from our neighbor families in Dry Creek and the Russian River areas.  Over time, we’ve been fortunate enough to grow our extended family to wine makers and farmers in the local area at Kokomo and Alexander Valley Vineyards. 

This year, we are happy to announce our first wines: a 2011 Cardinal Rule Cabernet and our 2013 Cardinal Rule Rosé.

Our Cardinal Rule has always been: “Drink what you love, love what you drink.”

Drink this Cardinal Rule Cabernet today with beef short ribs, a grilled steak, lamb,  a great burger (beef, turkey or tofu)  or some rich artisan chocolate. 

Wine Ratings

94 Insider Points

Wine Reviews

The fruit for this delicious wine comes from a single vineyard across the street from the cult status Preston Vineyards on the West Dry Creek Benchland.  The 2011 vintage is fantastic and drinking on all cylinders right now, they dropped considerable fruit in this tough year and ended up with a dense and expressive bottle of Cabernet.  Stomped berries, bramble and black tea waft from the glass, leading to a firm palate that is lush with fruit, with powerful tannin and nuanced rustic notes of leather and graphite.  A tasty bottle of wine at a compelling price, don’t miss this one!  Enjoy now through 2023. - DZ Mar 2016

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