Aged Cabernet Series Wine Club Review

Aged Cabernet Series Wine Club

Wine Club Overview & Details

Wine Club Rating:

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Summary

This wine subscription focuses on high-end, small-production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that was perfectly cellared while it earned the status of Aged. All of these Cabs, from small family wineries in Napa, are ready to drink when they arrive. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself. Past shipments have included both three-bottle horizontals and three-bottle verticals — a truly unique wine experience (more on this in the review).

What I Like

One of few Napa Cabernet wine clubs, this is the only Aged Cabernet wine club we know of. It’s practically impossible to find luxury aged Cab outside of the auction environment or for less than $120 a bottle. The uniqueness of these wines and the special access the club’s members get both factor into our enthusiastic support of The Aged Cabernet Series.

Improvements

Not every bottle is right in our wheelhouse, but we don’t hold that against them.

Benefits

  • Hidden gems from Napa Valley
  • Great gift presentation and deals
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Only wine club offering aged wines

Drawbacks

  • Shipping is extra

Wine Club Ships to

AK AZ CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS LA ME MD MA MN MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC TN TX VT VA WA WV WI WY

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FYI: I find great wine deals so you don’t have to. To keep me on the hunt, I earn a commission when you buy wine based on my recommendations.

Coupons & Promo Codes

Deal Get two bonus bottles
Join the Aged Cabernet Series and get two extra bottles of Aged Cab in the first shipment. Until Mar 31. Use code ADDTWO at checkout.

Deal Save 50% on membership
Save 50% on your first shipment. Until Dec 31. Use code WCRHALF at checkout.

Aged Cabernet Series Wine Club Review

Aged Cabernet Series Review

What is the Aged Cabernet Series from The California Wine Club?

Founded in 1990, The California Wine Club is a California company which sells artisanal wines from small family wineries. Their Aged Cabernet Series is one-of-a-kind — it’s rare to find a Cabernet Club, and this is the only aged wine club, much less aged Cabernet Sauvignon wine club I know of. It is available as an ongoing subscription or as a gift membership (you choose the length of the gift).

The privilege of drinking pre-aged wine typically means a lot of work went into procuring the wine (research, participating in auctions, calling stores and wineries, etc.). Some wineries share aged selections, often called Library wines, with their own members, but they rarely sell those wines to retailers (or wine clubs like The California Wine Club). The Napa Cabernet Sauvignon shipped via this subscription is perfectly cellared at the winery for 7-12 years before finding its way to you, a rarity in the wine world, making this club very special.

Aged Cabernet Series, like all of their subscriptions, comes with an industry-leading satisfaction guarantee and a host of other membership benefits. This membership can be delivered monthly, every other month, or quarterly.

How much does the Aged Cabernet Series cost?

The price of the Aged Cabernet Series depends on how you’ve configured it.

If you are giving a gift, each two-bottle shipment will cost $279, plus $21 for shipping and handling.

If you are joining for yourself, your price varies with each shipment, at an average cost of $262, plus $21 for shipping and handling.

Gift-wrapped wine bottles

Ways to save on Aged Cabernet Series

Depending on your preferences, there are two great ways to save on an Aged Cabernet Series membership for yourself.

Option 1: send yourself a “gift” when you place your order. Discounts start at three months (around 8%) and go up to approximately 10% for twelve months.

Option 2: The California Wine Club kindly offers my readers a generous discount. Save 50% on the wine portion of your first shipment with code WCRHALF at checkout (ongoing subscriptions only, not for gifts). Shipping and handling will still be $21.

Current Aged Cabernet Series Deals

Deal Get two bonus bottles
Join the Aged Cabernet Series and get two extra bottles of Aged Cab in the first shipment. Until Mar 31. Use code ADDTWO at checkout.

Deal Save 50% on membership
Save 50% on your first shipment. Until Dec 31. Use code WCRHALF at checkout.

Aged Cabernet Series membership benefits

Any time you become a subscriber to a company’s services, there should be a benefit to you for loyalty. Sometimes that benefit is discounted members-only pricing and sometimes that benefit is extra perks. Here are the membership benefits for joining or gifting this Aged Cabernet club.

A really nice bonus touch for this subscription is that your first shipment comes with a specialized cork puller for removing delicate aged corks from wine bottles. It’s a two-prong gizmo and there’s no “screw.” Best part? You can use it to put the cork right back in the bottle, if there’s actually any left when you’re done for the night.

My Aged Cabernet Series
Benefits Ratings

Satisfaction Guarantee
Customer Service
Wine Education
Convenience
Aged Cabernet Series Unboxing

Unboxing Aged Cabernet Series shipment

Uncorked Magazine, Aged Cabernet Series pages

Uncorked Aged Cabernet Series example

Aged Cabernet Wine Review

My Aged Cab Series
Wine Ratings

Quality of Wine
Price of Wine
Wine Curation

The California Wine Club specializes in small-batch wines from family wineries producing less than 15,000 cases per year. Small production wines typically offer the most character as the grapes are farmed for optimal taste, not optimal yield. Learn more about why these small producers are so important.

Here is the selection of wines I’ve received from the Aged Cabernet Series over the years.

An early Aged Cabernet shipment

The Michael-Scott 2006 and a mystery wine I received in 2015

An Aged Cabernet shipment from 2016

The 2004 Hagafen and 2009 Rocca, Collinetta Vineyard I received in 2016

An Aged Cabernet shipment from 2019

The 2011 Young Ridge and 2010 Vineyard 511 I received in 2019

A recent Aged Cabernet shipment from 2022

The 2015 Hersly Oak Knoll and 2015 Anthem Mt. Veeder I received in 2022

Here is a review of my latest shipment of wine from October 2022. The shipment contained one bottle of single-vineyard Hersly Cabernet from Napa’s Oak Knoll District, and one bottle of single-vineyard Anthem Cabernet from Napa’s Mt. Veeder region.

2015 Mt. Veeder Estate, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Front Label with Glass 2015 Mt. Veeder Estate, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Back Label with Glass

Winery: Anthem Winery
Wine: 2015 Mt. Veeder Estate, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Original release date: September 2019
Blend: 89.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.4% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 0.1% Merlot
Region: Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
Cases produced: 445 (Known cases remaining: 10 as of May 2022)
Winery retail price: $135

When it comes to Napa Cabernet, there’s no shortage of superlatives swirling around, in the glass and in the vineyards. Here’s mine: this has to be my favorite “back label” ever on a bottle of wine. I love the topographic lines silkscreened on the front, no question, but with silkscreening for the back label they were able to include so much information, like: the overall slope profile of the vineyard, the soil composition, vine spacing, trellis information, rootstock and clonal information, harvest details, fermentation notes, barreling info, and bottling info. There are all kinds of extras tucked in there, too, like the winery dog’s deets, but this is a wine geek’s bottle if ever there was one! It made it to the "shelf of wine bottle glory" in my studio.

All kidding aside, we age a lot of wine at our house. It took some trial and error for us to figure out the right aging window for our favorite wineries and the varieties they produce, but if I were guessing how long to hold a Napa Cab, I’d be uncomfortable thinking I’d guess right.

Bottles go through “closed” periods where you wouldn’t want to drink them and bottles can sometimes quickly turn raisiny (which works for some wine lovers, but not this wine lover). Relying on someone else to open that seven year old bottle and tell me if now is a good time to drink it, as well as providing an updated timeline for additional cellaring if I’m feeling brave, is a gift.

In addition to the original tasting notes, you also get updated tasting notes. For this wine, this is what the winery says:

Tasting Notes … Then
“Our 2015 Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet is a blockbuster mountain Cabernet from Anthem’s own vineyards located at 400 feet in Napa Valley’s western hillsides. The lower yields in 2015 produced fruit with intense, plush dark berry flavors that Winemaker Jeff Ames crafted into an exquisitely rich Mt. Veeder Cabernet.”

Tasting Notes … Now
“This powerhouse mountain Cabernet continues to age exceptionally well. The nose offers hints of dark cherries and chocolate. On the palate, flavors of rich dark fruits, olive, and anise lead to softer tannins for a long-lasting finish.”

For me, a self-described Napa-Cab-avoider, I found it easier to recognize the softer tannins and long-lasting finish than the specifics from the notes. Dark fruits were prominent, but the tertiary flavors I picked up weren’t olive and anise, it was that the dark fruits tasted stewed (common in older red wines, even desirable by many). The wine was complex enough to keep me interested and I was grateful for the absence of “pyrazines” (methoxypyrazine the chemical which makes some wines made from Bordeaux grapes taste like green pepper).

2015 Lazare Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Front Label with Glass 2015 Lazare Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Back Label with Glass

Winery: Hersly Wines
Wine: 2015 Lazare Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Original release date: October 2018
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
Cases produced: 106 (Known cases remaining: 26 as of May 2022)
Winery retail price: $90

We don’t have occasion to drink much bold red wine at our house as we rarely eat the heavy foods that go best with it, so when it comes along for us to taste, we tend to indulge. This one was paired with a nice steak, mashed potatoes, and roasted broccoli. Happily, the wine was everything you want from a beautifully made Napa Cab.

Tasting Notes … Then
“Hersly Wines 2015 Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, rich, single-vineyard wine with notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of spice and tobacco. Elegant and rich tannins give way to a lingering, structured finish.”

Tasting Notes … Now
“Similar to original tasting notes: Dark fruits, chocolate, and hints of spice, with some additional notes of brûléed dark berries. Tannins are holding up well. The wine is drinking beautifully now but will hold up for years to come.”

For me, the hints of spice were more pronounced than “hints” (as they often are in older wines) and the chocolate was fairly subdued. I, not a sommelier or otherwise professionally-trained consumer of wine, find it difficult to distinguish between “dark fruits” and “dark berries” — they were present, but not prominent. I did not find the wine was yet fully-integrated, those tannins were still a significant player in mouthfeel.

In addition to making Cabernet from their own Lazare vineyard, the Hersly family also sells some of their grapes to a few other wineries, also small and family-owned.

How does the Aged Cabernet Series compare to similar wine subscriptions?

There are no other clubs to compare with The Aged Cabernet Series from The California Wine Club — it is one of a kind.

Is the Aged Cabernet Series a good gift?

Yes! All of The California Wine Club memberships are among my most highly recommended gifts. Whether you’re on a budget or you want to splurge, you can be assured your gift recipient will love what you buy them.

Gift-wrapped Aged Cabernet Series wine with Gift+

Here are my top reasons to recommend The California Wine Club above all other clubs for gifts:

Aged Cabernet Series Gift-wrapped Bottles in Box

Gift-wrapped bottles in first shipment

Gift+ Packaging

Gift+ send-ahead gift