Secret Agent, Man
Lot 205 is the undercover label of the well-regarded Cartlidge and Browne winery. Although they acknowledge their Rabid, Manzanita Canyon, and Stratford sub-brands, Lot 205 is their secret agent, for reasons known only to them (the price points of all of these labels are approximately the same).
The name is taken from C&B’s former street address in American Canyon at the southern end of Napa Valley. The fruit, however, is sourced from growers throughout California.
Winemaker Paul Moser leans toward the French style, with an emphasis on the correct expression of the grape variety; the predominance of fruit over oak; making the wines dry and food-friendly; keeping the alcohol levels in check; and offering good value in table wines meant for everyday consumption.
Lot 205 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
This wine is primarily Paso Robles Cabernet (82%) and Merlot (12%). The taste is fruit-forward, with dominant cherry supported by tobacco and mocha notes. It has a medium body and color, and is well-balanced by smooth, restrained tannins.
Partner this cab with jerk-rubbed chicken thighs, balsamic-marinated flank steak, and grilled lamb chops.
Lot 205 Chardonnay 2006
Although present, oak is a supporting player in this chardonnay, letting the apple, citrus, and pineapple come to the fore. It’s a bit sweeter than I expected, with a hint of butterscotch.
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