I thought this Alexander Valley Cab might be the second of a sort of “matched set” with Fresh & Easy’s Small Wonders Chardonnay, given that they’re the first wines at Fresh & Easy from single appellations in Sonoma County, they arrived on the shelf at about the same time, and they're both currently on sale for ~$10.
At any rate, the appellation and the simultaneous arrival on the shelf would appear to be a coincidence. Where Small Wonders was very much an easy-to-like Sonoma Chard, Clairville is not likewise a typically soft, voluptuous, oaky Cab in the style of say, Geyser Peak’s or Sebastiani’s Sonoma County bottlings.
Rather, this is a wine with some guts and some tannin. It’s a bit on the rustic side, which is to say that it’s somewhat astringent and rough around the edges. If you prefer an old-fashioned Cab to the more polished contemporary California style, this might be a good choice. To my mind though, it’s kind of tight and closed, with the tannic finish swallowing up the fruit.
Total value: 10.5/15