2005 Hunter Ashby Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 Hunter Ashby Cabernet SauvignonPrice: $9.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Wine Enthusiast “Black currant and cherry flavors, accented with a touch of smoky oak, mark this dry, smooth wine. It has the textural hallmarks of the best of Napa Valley Cabernet, but lacks the richness. Drink now.” — 86 points S.H. (6/1/2008)

What I Think:

This one is made by 2Sons Winery in Rutherford, which I can hardly find a word about. That said I was able to conclusively link the Hinter Ashby name to the Terlato Wines International. Looks like they use it as a “logo” wine as it appears in all their press releases but I can’t find another word about it on their site. I also saw some things that lead me to believe that this label may fall under their Tangley Oaks label. Here nor there, there are plenty of other names I know that can be found under the Terlato umbrella, including Alderbrook, which was a favorite Zin of mine TJ’s was selling a while back. Anyhow, what do you say we take the detectives hat off and get to the wine.

The nose shows cherry and spice. On the palate it is lively early on, dancing on the tongue with a nice acidity coming through. Towards the middle it fades, showing loads of ripe fruits that linger to the finish. A nice effort, this one shows a smooth texture balancing oak, fruit and mineral. If you’re a fan of Napa Cab looking for a discount or looking for an intro to the region this bottle is worth checking out.

Rating: Buy It

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17 thoughts on “2005 Hunter Ashby Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. I’m glad you reviewed this wine. I have seen this wine at Tj’s and will give it a try. I heard that many of the big wine companies are dumping excess wine by using a second label. They don’t want to put their “name” labels at a discount price.

  2. I bought it to try as I am a little snobby on my red wines – when I first tried it – it didn’t live up to it’s description. I like flavor when I drink my cabs – I do like a softer finish (I have come to appreciate) vs a more tannic one however, this one tastes much better decanted or the next day. I would be curious if it was under Chimney Rock….let me know when you figure it out.

  3. I’ll respond in more detail later but quickly here is the link that led me to believe this is a label under Tangley Oaks which is a Terlato holding as well. Don’t know anything about Tangley Oaks either. @Danny, any thoughts on why Chimney Rock or just throwing it out there?

  4. @ Jason, Tangley Oaks appears to be more of a Terlato Group brand name rather than an actual winery. I was just throwing the Chimney Rock Winery name out there because it is a Terlato owned winery located in Napa that actually exists and which wou can actually visit—Cuvaison, I think, is another. An alternate, more probable guess on the source for the Hunter Ashby cab might be the Rutherford Hill winery. I found records from 1997 that show Rutherford Hill was sourcing $9 to $15 cabernets and merlots to Hunter Ashby when Hunter Ashby was apparently outside of the Terlato owned umbrella of companies. Terlato, it seems, is the only entitiy, at present, that knows definitvely from where this wine is sourced and it looks like they are not being very forthcoming in disclosing the info. Cheers

  5. Hey guys. I work for Trader Joe’s in Carlsbad (San Diego county) and I might be able to clear some stuff up here. The wine buyer for our region told us that this wine was made by Rutherford Hill. It’s actually a vintage that was produced specifically for restaurant use, thus the lack of info. The cheapest we could find it anywhere else was $59 and the Ruth’s Chris here in Del Mar sells it for a whopping $125. Crazy no? Hope this helps.

  6. Also, glad you have checked this wine out. Heard from my TJoes…see above comment by Aaron…that it was a $58 bottle of wine. Thought I would give it a whirl. A friend and I opened it on vacation and thought it was delicious. Did a test with a couple other cabs and it was the favorite. Haven’t compared to my current favorite (Red Diamond) But it is really worth the $9.99!!

  7. Ijust wish no one else tried this wonderful $9.99 btl of wine–after decanting and trying the 1st btl I went out and bought 5 cases. It’s just a great everyday wine.

  8. I also work for TJ’s. This wine was made by Rutherford Hill (Terlato owned). Terlato is the family name-they started in Chicago as importers. I have forgotten the name of their importing company. The wine was light-restaurant style, but if the wine buyer for Ruth Chris is selling it at $125-2 things- IT IS THE BIGGEST RIPOFF IN WINE-OR THE BUYER SHOULD GET FIRED FOR OVERPAYING ON THIS AVERAGE WINE. At $9.99 it is OK but a steal -NO.

  9. Just Arrived. HUNTER ASHBY 2005 MERLOT! Excellent at $5.99 per! This Merlot is medium bodied with lots of flavor, a great nose and moderate tannins! NOW at Trader Joe’s in limited quantities! Amazing quality at this price! :-)

  10. I just got the Hunter Ashby 2005 Merlot today at Trader Joe’s! The guy at checkout says it’s been quite popular and very good. I’m looking forward to trying it out this Saturday on my cooking day!

  11. Also now at TJ’s is Amarone at $16.99. Huge wine full bodied great Holiday wine! Rack of Lamb; Prime Rib & Steaks!

    Try the San Greal @ $6.99 Syrah, Sanjo & Merlot blend a great every day wine in limited quantities. Big wine for the price!

  12. I was WAY oversold on this wine in Kansas City….I was told it was being sold for a lot more than it was being offered ($10.99).

    Those posts above who have it as a $5.99 wine have it about right…that’s about what it’s worth.

    I was a little underwhelmed…but it’s probably because I was oversold.

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