Hart & McGarry 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

North Coast, California; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 21 Oct

HartMcGarry_2011_CabS_NCoastAccording to the store manager, the winemaker for this wine was the same as for the 2011 Victor Zinfandel, which was pretty tasty.  Although not as dense, this wine is in the same vein and also quite good.

It needs about 90 minutes in a decanter to show richer, ripe fruit of dark red / black cherry, blackberry / mulberry, and a little blackcurrant, a little spice / dark earth, and a slightly herbal and tannic finish.  The wine is quite smooth and balanced, and acceptably complex.  The fruit is still very fresh and young, and I expect the wine will keep well for the next few years in reasonable storage, although there’s not much reason to wait to drink it.  However, as the rest of the first night’s wine aired further, the “herbal” part became more prominent and musty, reminding me of the District 7 Cabernet.  This may be the character of most 2011 North Coast (CA) Cabs.  However, that flavor was not at all as strong in this wine.

Also in contrast to the D7 Cab, this wine is delicious on the second night (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air), showing succulent, ripe red cherry with complexities of the darker fruits above that became more prominent as it aired.

13 thoughts on “Hart & McGarry 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. EHL

    Bought this bottle a few months back and finally got to it.

    While not a stunner, a very nice, tasty Cab for the money…..smooth and supple, with luscious dark fruit overtones…..drinks very nicely on 2nd and 3rd days, gaining complexity and depth.

    Thumbs up!

  2. Darrell

    Tasted during the sale and thought it ageable so bought a few. The herbal type cab is what I look for in aging. Overt oak and will wait till the wood and grape both age. There is something delicious about bottle bouquet and aged oak plus enough varietal character to withstand the aging.

  3. Expat

    Popped and poured and right out of the bottle I was disappointed – it was inoffensive but uninteresting with not much backbone. My first thought was, “uh oh, this is a Bronco wine” (luckily it’s not). BargainWhine is absolutely right, this wine needs some air time. As I cooked dinner I tried the Corbieres and then came back to this about an hour later. Big difference. Layers and complexity opened up and it was much more enjoyable. I still prefer a cab with more tannic structure, dryness and earthy notes so I probably won’t re-buy with so many interesting options hopefully at the sale. Still this is a safe bet for anyone who likes an accessible cab.

    1. permiesworld

      We finally got to this one…had similar thoughts to yours. Except that ours had a distinct green pepper aftertaste. I think this may be my last GO red wine (except the ones that are tried and true)…here’s hoping the NW sees something interesting…

  4. Seedboy

    I have tasted a mess of recent GO wines and this is the best deal in a cab, unless you really like them fruity and tannin free, in which case, go for the Ben Hogan.

  5. lim13

    This Cab is now in GO’s local published ad for the 20% off wine sale Nov. 5-9. Our price, $5.99 or $4.79 during the sale. But I have yet to see it in the stores.

    1. lim13

      Bought a couple of these at the Silverdale store in early November. Opened my first tonight. BW’s review is right on the mark for me. But unlike Seedboy’s comment above, I find this Cab to be very much on the fruity side, which I don’t mind at all. But it still has tannin, wood and texture. I wouldn’t age this stuff…and I’m perfectly happy to drink it right up. Our bottle won’t make it until tomorrow.

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Lim13. I’m glad to hear you found the same tasty wine I did. I think there may still be some at the Berkeley store, mainly because they got a ton for the fall sale.

        1. EHL

          I just saw a good amount of it at the Oakland GO a couple of days ago.

          Almost bought some until I saw some a few bottles of the Russian Hill ’01 Windsor Oaks Syrah hidden in the back of the shelves. Paid the additional two bucks per bottle and picked those up instead.

          1. Darrell

            There’s still quite a bit of the Hart and Mc Garry around and may I say you did the right thing in getting the 2001 RH WOS and I hope you got every bottle even at the extra $2 per bottle.

            1. EHL

              Yeah, you’re right, Darrell…as you know there is a world of difference in class and quality between those wines…and I did vacuum up every bottle of the ’01 RH WOS I could find and, frankly, was shocked they were even there!


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