2014 Dark Horse Wines The Original Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon, Sacramento/San Joaquin, California, USA


For our first wine tasting, we selected a relatively inexpensive wine ($7.99 at Trader Joe’s), the 2014 Dark Horse Wines The Original Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon.  This bottle has always made it in our shopping cart every time we make a wine run to Trader Joe’s, so needless to say, it was one of our obvious choices for a first review on our blog.  After we sat down and actually broke the wine down in all of its components though (Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste), we found that this may not make it into our basket every time now.

The wine has a decently attractive appearance but falls short on its smell and taste.  The Dark Horse Wines Cabernet Sauvignon “is made from a blend of hand-selected grapes grown predominantly in the Lodi and Delta winegrowing areas of California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.” (Source: Dark Horse Wines)  Although the wine is not a personal favorite now, it would be an acceptable choice as a table wine, or for a casual dinner party.  Suggested pairing would be any meal paired well with red wine (again, think table wine) but would avoid anything sweet such as chocolates or other desserts.

From the back of the bottle: “Dark Horse Cabernet showcases bold flavors of blackberry and black cherry, supported by firm tannins, brown spice and a dark chocolate espresso finish.”

Rating:  2.5 corks
Price:  $7.99
Designation:   The Original Dark Horse
Appellation:   Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley, California, USA
Winery:  Dark Horse Wines
Variety:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Category:  Red
Alcohol:  13.5%
Bottle Size:  750mL


Sight – 3.5 / 5 corks

The wine has a dull, dense, and non-translucent level of clarity with a plum center surrounded by a ruby halo.

Dark Horse 3

Smell – 2.5 / 5 corks

With a strong scent of cherries and spice upon opening, the wine quickly dies down after approximately 20 minutes of settling in the wine glass.  With an average aroma and bouquet, it has a bit of an off-putting scent after it settled, reminding us almost of vinegar.  The wine is initially fermented in oak barrels before being transferred to stainless-steel tanks for up to nine months.

Touch – 2 / 5 corks

Immediate contact with the tongue results in an off-dry, low-acidity and not complex feel with a low-to-medium body and proportional balance.

Taste – 2.5 / 5 corks

The flavors are undecidedly simple with hints of a bitter-chocolate (like cocoa) and blackberry which lingers on the palatte for several seconds resulting in a long finish.

Overall – 2.5 / 5 corks

Dark Horse 2


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