I am not a wine snob. Actually, some folks have come to call me the “Will Rogers” of wine, in that I haven’t met a wine I didn’t like… Perhaps it is my devotion to judging wines not merely critiquing wines. So, in the spirit of fairness and equality, I will tell you about the Leese-Fitch Cabernet, a very inexpensive, very simple fruit bomb from the other coast (and as the label claims “from the other guys…”)


The 2010 Leese-Fitch Cabernet is a product of The Other Guys Winery, a subsidiary of the huge Sebastiani wine empire. The Leese-Fitch label is a value-conscience brand that strives to make high-quality, inexpensive wine that tastes at a price point $10 – $15 above its retail prices. Housed in the restored Leese-Fitch building located in Sonoma Square, the winery uses a mix of fruit from area growers, producing a Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The building was originally built in 1836, and is an historical landmark in Sonoma Plaza, named after Jacob Leese and Henry Fitch, brothers-in-law to General Mariano Vallejo, the founder of the town of Sonoma.

I generally eschew these easy-drinking west coast wines, usually because the value proposition isn’t there. But with Leese-Fitch, the price point is low-enough to make the ratio work.

My tasting note:

Ripe, juicy nose with black cherry jam and cedar hints. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity and supple, approachable tannins. Good balance. Youthful and fruity with bright red berry notes. Classically west coast – gulpable and easy drinking. Smooth finish without a lot of complexity – not for aging, simply for quaffing.

At an average retail price of $10.99 per bottle before discount, this wine is a good value with no pretense!