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An old-fashioned California Cabernet Sauvignon, the 1996 Rosenthal Malibu Cabernet Sauvignon is a formidable, highly structured wine that hearkens back to the early days of the California wine Renaissance of the 1960's and early 1970's. The sixth Cabernet release from Rosenthal's Malibu Hills Vineyard, the cepage is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Merlot, resulting in a deeply colored potion of extreme depth as well as powerful fruit. Pronounced aromas of cedar, black cherry, currant, tobacco, and mint, pour from the glass, while a full-bodied essence of spice, mint, chocolate and barrel wrap around a core of fruit to form the flavor profile. Packed with flavor, the 1996 Rosenthal Cabernet Sauvignon sports a long, lingering finish that lasts for 30 seconds or more, adding dimension to the wine's opulent tannic structure. Not exactly for the faint-heated, this Rosenthal selection packs a punch and a boatload of flavor. Decant this buxom beauty and allow it to breathe for an hour or more; power will turn to depth and plenty of pleasure besides.
Bring on the meat and cheese, and just about anything else that calls for body and flavor. Roast leg of lamb, prepared Provencal style with garlic, olive oil and fresh rosemary is a wonderful accompaniment to the 1996 Rosenthal Malibu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The pronounced flavor of the lamb melds with the wine to provide the perfect pairing. Greek food, Lebanese specialties and assorted Middle Eastern fare, with their highly charged, exotic flavors, offer other splendid choices with this full-throttle Cabernet Sauvignon. Beef, strong cheeses, spicy sausages, and piquant bean dishes are other excellent complements to the 1996 Rosenthal Malibu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy!
In the 19th century, Los Angeles County was reputed to have been the leading producer of wine in California. With the advent of phylloxera, Fierce's Disease, and urban sprawl, the county's most deadly disease of the 20th century, wine production nearly disappeared in Los Angeles County, Malibu included that is until George Rosenthal planted a prime portion of his Malibu ranch to European varietals in 1987. A real estate developer, restaurant/hotel owner and breeder of fine Andalusian show horses, Rosenthal already produces the county's premier wines. Specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay in miniscule lots, George Rosenthal and French winemaker Christian Rougenet spare no expense in the pursuit of full throttle, highly extracted wines of distinction. Here, the grapes are entirely hand-picked from low yield vines and the resulting wines are all aged in the finest French oak barrels. Presently, plans are underway at Rosenthal's Malibu Estate for a new winery and storage cave on the property. The cave will be tunneled into the side of an existing rock formation at the rear of the vineyard, nearly 1500 feet above the gleaming Pacific.
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