Wine Review: Sixty-Five & Broad Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Washington State, United States
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2017 & 2019
The 2019 vintage review can be found at the bottom. Cheers!
Have you ever been looking through the wine selection at your local liquor store, knowing what you are probably going to get, but seeing if anything catches your eye? Then you see this $10 wine called Sixty-Five & Broad. You have not heard anything about it, and you think it is probably just another cheap, easy-drinking wine. If you did not know what the wine is, you would likely think this.
You likely have not heard anything about this wine before because it is a “restaurant wine,” meaning a winery makes it for a specific restaurant. One of the only advantages of living in a “control state” is that if one business can get a particular alcohol brand, then any business can. Supposedly, this is how my local liquor store picked up Ruth Chris’s restaurant cabernet sauvignon. If you love Cabernet, this is your wine, if you can find it. Retail price, Sixty-Five & Broad only goes for around $10, but it drinks like a $20-$30 wine. This Washington State wine has all of the vibrancy and fun of the jammy California cabernets but provides some structure with heavy oak and chocolate notes.
Given the lack of information available about this particular wine, we cannot say where it specifically comes from besides coming from Washington State. Judging by this cabernet sauvignon and others from the state, Washington cabernet sauvignon tends to find the perfect balance between the old world, French cabernet, and new world, California cabernet. The bottle will not make you feel bombarded with explosive fruit flavors, but it will still leave its mark on your palette. Washington State wine is becoming increasingly popular in the US and is a great, interesting sub-region to watch.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most well-known grapes and wines in the world. Historically, Cabernet Sauvignon was famous for its use in Bordeaux blends. Though the grape and its use in Bordeaux blends are still popular today, Cabernet Sauvignon has become extremely popular as a single-varietal wine over the past century. The grape is fairly delicate and sensitive to temperature fluctuations and the climate in general, but it is still widely grown around the world. France, the United States, South Africa, Argentina, and Australia are all notable regions that grow Cabernet Sauvignon.
This Washington State bottle has rich, deep aromas of plum and oak. The aromas do not hit you in the face, but they make their presence known. As the wine aerates, the oak lets off some welcomed hints of bright vanilla.
This is a very medium-bodied cabernet sauvignon, unlike the typical full-bodied cabernet. Plum and oak are the main characters in the tasting notes. The plum is deep and slightly ripe, and the oak adds a creamy, chocolatey undertone with hints of vanilla. Mixed into all of these delicious notes are mild cherry notes that fade in and out.
Sixty-Five & Broad is one of the best cabernet sauvignons you will find for $10 if you can find it. Again, before COVID, this was a restaurant-only wine and still seems to be that way, mostly. This wine drinks like it should be double the price, but thankfully it is not.
If you want an easy-drinking Cabernet Sauvignon with some character, this is your best bet. You get dark fruits and oak without the overpowering red fruits that tend to accompany cheaper cabernets.
2019 Vintage Update
The original review is for the 2017 vintage of Sixty-Five & Broad, and I am sure this vintage is still out and about. Recently, I found the 2019 vintage and had to try it. In short, this one is just as much a treat as the previous one, but you cannot go wrong with either.
I had forgotten just how tasty and how much of a steal this bottle is, but I am happy to have been reminded. Honestly speaking, I am not sure if the differences I noticed were actual differences or a matter of time, but here they are. I found the 2019 vintage to be a bit more elegant and more reminiscent of the old world. This bottle shared many of the same notes, aromas, and general characteristics of the previous vintages, but this bottle seemed more refined and structured than I remembered.
The 2019 bottling of Sixty-Five & Broad had an initial well-balanced mesh of calm dark fruit, baking spices, and leather. This was accompanied by hints of earth, smokey tobacco, and a slight lingering of chocolate.
As the wine opens up, these general aromatics seem to balance out. The dark fruits become blackberry alongside savory bits of tobacco and leather dance around. There is an underlying aroma of coffee and general fruits as well.
From the start, there is a warring blend of dark fruit and smokey tobacco. Mild notes of earth, leather, and woodsy earth are scattered throughout. All of these notes are hanging around among surprisingly moderate acidity and a handful of tannins.
After sitting in the glass for a while, this adventure of a Washington Cabernet starts to come together. The dark fruits become more present and identifiable. These are balanced by tobacco and coffee notes, though in a much more structured manner. Some new bits have come about as well with general herbal notes and a nice, soft bell pepper note. The tannins are still around, though they have decided to corporate with their other counterparts. To round it out, there is a long and tasty finish of coffee and dark fruit.