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kick butt cabI’ve been tasting through Texas Hill Country wines the last two weeks.  Texas Hills Vineyard is a highly-regarded winery among the locals and this particular Cabernet has, over the years, received quite a bit of recognition—some call it iconic. I found it to be representative of the middling quality to be found here.

The nose shows black cherry, then a little dusty earth, and finally settles into a flavor profile with prominent cinnamon and clove highlights. It’s pleasant enough but doesn’t exactly leap out of the glass. The medium body palate is juicy and the acidity refreshing but the wine is linear, lacking impact up front and featuring a short finish with very soft tannins that lack grip. Faint apple cider notes on the finish are unusual. The oak is well-integrated and shows off the fruit but there is little to create interest.

This is an approachable wine that is easy to drink but it lacks the bold fruit, depth, and sturdy tannins that premium Cabernet should have. It is a respectable wine but at $25 I’m underwhelmed. It certainly does not kick butt.

Like most of the wines we’ve tasted here it occupies a comfortable niche serving the robust tourist trade in the hills West of Austin; but it doesn’t stand out when compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon from more established wine regions.

I’m camped down the road from that dusty little town with the big name—all because of this little song from Waylon. A comfortable, middle-of-the-road country tune to go with a comfortable middle-of-the-road country wine.

Score: 86

Price: $25

Alc: 13.8%

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