Simi Cabernet Sauvignon: A Bold and Elegant Wine from Sonoma County

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine that has been produced by the Simi Winery in Sonoma County, California, for over a century. This wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the Alexander Valley, which is known for producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in California.

Simi Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Sonoma County, having been founded in 1876 by two Italian brothers. The winery has a long history of producing high-quality wines, and Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. This wine is known for its rich, full-bodied flavor, with notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, and vanilla. It is aged in French and American oak barrels, which gives it a subtle oak flavor and a smooth finish.

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular choice for wine enthusiasts who appreciate a bold, flavorful wine. It pairs well with a variety of foods, including grilled steak, hearty soups, and aged cheeses. Whether you're enjoying a glass of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon with a meal or sipping it on its own, you're sure to appreciate its complex flavor and smooth finish.

History of Simi Winery

Simi Winery has a rich history dating back to 1876 when it was founded by Pietro Simi and his brother Giuseppe in San Francisco, California. The two brothers had immigrated to the United States during the California Gold Rush and had a passion for winemaking. They moved operations to Healdsburg, California in 1881, where they purchased a winery on Front Street for $2,250 in gold coins.

Founding by Pietro Simi

Pietro Simi was a skilled winemaker who had learned the craft from his father in Montepulciano, Italy. He brought his expertise to California and began producing wines under the Simi name in Sonoma County. The winery quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality wines and attracted many visitors.

Development of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon

Simi Winery is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon wines, which have been produced since 1884. The winery has a long history of American winemaking and even produced wine during the years of Prohibition as an authorized producer of sacramental wine.

Over the years, Simi Winery has continued to innovate and improve its winemaking techniques. Today, Simi Winery is owned by Constellation Brands and continues to produce award-winning wines that showcase the unique terroir of California.

Simi Winery is a testament to the enduring legacy of Pietro Simi and his dedication to producing exceptional wines. The winery remains one of the oldest and most respected wineries in the United States and continues to attract visitors from around the world.

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon Varietals

Classic Varietal Characteristics

Simi's Cabernet Sauvignon varietals are known for their classic characteristics, offering rich and complex flavors that are synonymous with the variety. The wine exhibits bold tannins, deep color, and a full-bodied structure, making it an ideal choice for those who appreciate a robust red wine. Simi's classic Cabernet Sauvignon varietals often feature notes of dark fruits, such as black cherry, black currant, and plum, complemented by hints of cedar, tobacco, and a touch of spice.

Reserve Selections

Simi's Reserve Selections of Cabernet Sauvignon represent the pinnacle of the winery's craftsmanship. These wines are carefully selected from the finest vineyards and showcase exceptional quality and depth. The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon varietals are characterized by their intense fruit flavors, well-integrated oak, and a lingering finish. With a focus on elegance and complexity, Simi's Reserve Selections offer a premium expression of the Cabernet Sauvignon variety, appealing to discerning wine enthusiasts and collectors.

Viticulture in Alexander Valley

Alexander Valley is a sub-region of Sonoma County, California, known for its exceptional wine production, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a long, narrow valley that runs north-south, with the Russian River flowing through it. The region has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Geography and Climate

The geography of Alexander Valley is characterized by rolling hills, steep slopes, and diverse microclimates. The valley floor is relatively flat and fertile, while the hillsides are rocky and well-drained. The region's proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountain ranges moderates the temperature and humidity, creating ideal conditions for grape growing. The average temperature in Alexander Valley ranges from 50°F to 90°F, with an average rainfall of 40 inches per year.

Soil Composition

The soil composition in Alexander Valley is diverse, with a mix of alluvial, volcanic, and sedimentary soils. The valley floor is primarily composed of clay and loam soils, while the hillsides are dominated by rocky, well-drained soils. The region's soil composition plays a critical role in the flavor and character of the grapes grown in the region. The alluvial soils contribute to the fruity and floral flavors, while the rocky soils add minerality and complexity to the wine.

Overall, the combination of geography, climate, and soil composition in Alexander Valley creates an ideal environment for growing high-quality grapes, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. The region's unique terroir is reflected in the distinctive character and flavor of the wines produced in the region.

Winemaking Process

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is made using traditional winemaking techniques that have been refined over many years. The winemaking process involves several stages, including harvesting, fermentation, aging, and bottling.

Harvesting and Fermentation

The grapes used to make Simi Cabernet Sauvignon are carefully selected and harvested by hand. The grapes are then destemmed and crushed before being transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. During fermentation, yeast is added to the grape juice to convert the sugars into alcohol. This process takes about two weeks, during which time the tanks are regularly monitored to ensure that the temperature and other conditions are optimal.

Aging and Bottling

After fermentation is complete, the wine is transferred to oak barrels for aging. The oak barrels used for Simi Cabernet Sauvignon are carefully selected to ensure that they impart the desired flavors and aromas. The wine is aged in oak barrels for approximately 18 months before being bottled.

Before bottling, the wine is carefully blended to ensure consistency and balance. The wine is then bottled and aged for an additional six months before being released for sale. The alcohol by volume (ABV) of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is around 13.5%, which is typical for this style of wine.

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its toasty oak flavors, which are a result of the aging process. The oak barrels used for aging impart flavors of vanilla, caramel, and spice, which complement the rich fruit flavors of the wine.

Overall, the winemaking process for Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a careful and precise process that results in a high-quality wine with complex flavors and aromas.

Tasting Notes

Flavor Profile

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a complex flavor profile that is sure to satisfy any wine lover's palate. The wine has notes of black cherry, black currant, and plum that are complemented by a hint of black pepper. The sweet toasty oak adds depth and complexity to the wine's flavor, making it an excellent choice for pairing with a variety of dishes.

Aroma and Palate

On the nose, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich and inviting aroma that hints at the wine's complex flavor profile. The wine's aroma is characterized by notes of black cherry, black currant, and plum, as well as a hint of black pepper. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and well-structured, with a smooth and velvety texture that is sure to please any wine lover. The wine's sweet toasty oak notes add a layer of complexity to the wine's flavor, while the hint of black pepper adds a subtle spice that lingers on the palate.

Overall, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a well-balanced and complex wine that is sure to impress even the most discerning wine lovers. Whether you are enjoying a glass on its own or pairing it with your favorite dish, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Food Pairing

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a versatile wine that can be paired with a variety of foods. Here are some ideal matches and serving suggestions to help you enjoy this wine to the fullest.

Ideal Matches

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine that pairs well with meats, particularly steak and beef. The wine's tannins and acidity cut through the richness of the meat, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. For best results, pair Simi Cabernet Sauvignon with grilled or roasted meats, such as a juicy ribeye or a tender filet mignon.

In addition to steak and beef, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon can also be paired with other hearty dishes, such as lamb, venison, and game. The wine's bold flavor profile can stand up to the strong flavors of these meats, creating a delicious and satisfying meal.

Serving Suggestions

When serving Simi Cabernet Sauvignon, it is important to consider the temperature and decanting. The wine should be served at room temperature, between 60-65°F, to bring out its full flavor profile. If the wine is too cold, the flavors will be muted and the tannins will be more pronounced.

To decant or not to decant? That is the question. Decanting Simi Cabernet Sauvignon can help to aerate the wine, allowing the flavors to open up and develop. However, it is not always necessary, especially if the wine has been aged for several years. If you do choose to decant the wine, pour it into a wide-bottomed decanter and let it breathe for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Overall, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that is best enjoyed with food. Its bold flavor profile and tannic structure make it an ideal pairing for steak, beef, and other hearty dishes. When serving this wine, be sure to consider the temperature and decanting to bring out its full potential.

Vintage Variations

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its consistency in quality and taste, but there are still variations between vintages that can make a difference in the wine's profile. Here are some notable vintage variations to keep in mind when selecting a bottle of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon.

Notable Years


The 2016 vintage of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is considered an excellent year, with a warm growing season that produced ripe and flavorful grapes. The wine is known for its dark fruit flavors and firm tannins, making it a great option for aging.


The 2019 vintage of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a more recent release and has already received high ratings from critics. This vintage is known for its rich and complex flavors, with notes of blackberry, vanilla, and spice. It has a smooth and velvety texture, making it a great option for drinking now or cellaring for a few years.


The 2021 vintage of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is still in the barrel, but early reports suggest that it will be another excellent vintage. The growing season was warm and dry, which is ideal for producing high-quality grapes. We can expect this vintage to have bold fruit flavors and firm tannins.


Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its ageability, meaning that it can be cellared for several years to allow the flavors to develop and mature. The wine's tannins provide structure and support for aging, while the fruit flavors become more complex and nuanced over time.

If you're looking for a Simi Cabernet Sauvignon that is ready to drink now, look for a more recent vintage like the 2019. If you're interested in aging the wine, consider a vintage like the 2016 that has already had a few years to mature. Keep in mind that aging wine requires proper storage conditions, such as a cool and dark environment with consistent temperature and humidity levels.

Overall, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a great option for those looking for a high-quality and age-worthy wine. With a range of vintages to choose from, there's a Simi Cabernet Sauvignon for every taste and preference.

Wine Reviews and Ratings

Critics' Perspectives

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon has received generally positive reviews from wine critics. Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2021 vintage a rating of 87 points, describing it as "simple and straight-forward" with notes of black cherry, black plum, black currant, black pepper, cedar wood, and a strong dose of tannins. Meanwhile, Natalie MacLean gave the 2019 vintage a score of 90/100, praising its complexity and depth thanks to the addition of Merlot, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Carignane, and Zinfandel grapes.

Consumer Opinions

Consumers have also generally enjoyed Simi Cabernet Sauvignon. On, the wine has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars based on 12 reviews. Many reviewers note the wine's smoothness and fruit-forward flavor profile, with some calling it an "excellent" or "very good" choice for the price point. However, a few reviewers note that the wine may be too tannic for their tastes.

Overall, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon appears to be a solid choice for those looking for a good value Cabernet Sauvignon. While it may not be the most complex or nuanced wine on the market, it offers a straightforward and enjoyable drinking experience at an accessible price point.

Purchasing Guide

Price Points

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a great value wine with a price point of around $25. This makes it an affordable option for those looking to enjoy a high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon without breaking the bank. While there are cheaper options available, Simi's Cabernet Sauvignon offers a great balance of flavor and quality for the price.

Where to Buy

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon can be purchased directly from the winery's website or from a variety of online retailers and local wine shops. It is widely available in the United States and can be found at many major retailers such as Total Wine and More, BevMo, and Safeway.

When purchasing Simi Cabernet Sauvignon, it is important to ensure that the wine is stored properly. It should be kept in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature of around 55°F. This will help to preserve the wine's flavor and ensure that it remains fresh for as long as possible.

Overall, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a great option for those looking for an affordable, high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon. With its balanced flavor profile and reasonable price point, it is a wine that is sure to impress even the most discerning of wine drinkers.

Sustainability and Innovation

Simi Winery is committed to sustainability and innovation in their winemaking practices. They have implemented several environmental practices and technological advancements to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure the quality of their wines.

Environmental Practices

Simi Winery has implemented several environmental practices to reduce their impact on the environment. They have installed solar panels on their buildings to generate renewable energy, reducing their reliance on non-renewable energy sources. In addition, they have implemented water conservation measures, such as using drip irrigation systems and recycling wastewater for irrigation purposes.

Simi Winery also practices sustainable farming methods. They use cover crops to reduce erosion and improve soil health, and they minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides. They have also implemented integrated pest management practices to control pests and diseases naturally.

Technological Advancements

Simi Winery has also implemented several technological advancements to improve the quality of their wines. They use state-of-the-art equipment, such as optical sorters, to ensure that only the highest quality grapes are used in their wines. They also use a computerized system to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in their cellars, ensuring that their wines are stored in optimal conditions.

Simi Winery has also implemented a barcode system to track their wines from the vineyard to the bottle. This system allows them to monitor the quality of their wines at every stage of the winemaking process, ensuring that only the highest quality wines are bottled and sold.

Overall, Simi Winery's commitment to sustainability and innovation is evident in their environmental practices and technological advancements. They are dedicated to producing high-quality wines while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Comparisons with Other Varietals

Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two of the most popular red wine varietals in the world. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences. Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its full-bodied flavor, high tannin content, and aging potential. Merlot, on the other hand, is known for its softer, fruitier flavors and lower tannin content.

Cabernet Sauvignon is often considered the "king" of red wines, while Merlot is sometimes seen as the "queen." Cabernet Sauvignon is a great choice for those who enjoy bold, complex wines with a long finish. Merlot, on the other hand, is a great choice for those who prefer softer, fruitier wines that are easy to drink.

When it comes to food pairings, Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with rich, hearty dishes such as steak, lamb, and game. Merlot, on the other hand, pairs well with lighter dishes such as roasted chicken, grilled fish, and pasta with tomato sauce.

Regional Comparisons

The taste and aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon can vary depending on where the grapes are grown. In general, Cabernet Sauvignon from warmer regions tends to be more fruit-forward with softer tannins, while Cabernet Sauvignon from cooler regions tends to have more structure and higher acidity.

Some of the most famous regions for Cabernet Sauvignon include Napa Valley, Bordeaux, and Tuscany. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its full-bodied flavor and rich, complex aromas. Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its elegance and balance, while Tuscany Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its earthy, herbal notes.

Merlot is also influenced by the region in which it is grown. Merlot from warmer regions tends to be fruitier, while Merlot from cooler regions tends to be more tannic. Some of the most famous regions for Merlot include Bordeaux, Tuscany, and California.

In conclusion, both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have their own unique characteristics and are great choices for red wine lovers. The taste and aroma of both varietals can vary depending on the region in which they are grown, so it's worth trying different wines from different regions to find your favorite.


Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a well-balanced, full-bodied wine that offers a rich and complex flavor profile. Its aroma is a combination of dark fruits, such as blackberry and plum, with hints of toasty oak and black pepper. On the palate, it delivers a smooth and velvety texture, with flavors of black cherry and brown spice complementing the dark fruit notes.

Simi Winery has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality wines, and their Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. The winery sources grapes from diverse vineyards across California's Alexander Valley, allowing them to create a wine that showcases the unique terroir of the region.

One of the standout features of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is its aging potential. The wine can be enjoyed young, but it also has the potential to age for several years, developing even more complexity and depth over time. This is due in part to the winery's careful selection of oak barrels for aging, which impart subtle flavors of vanilla and spice to the wine.

Overall, Simi Cabernet Sauvignon is a reliable choice for wine enthusiasts looking for a well-crafted, flavorful wine that offers both immediate enjoyment and aging potential. Its balanced flavor profile and smooth texture make it a versatile pairing for a variety of dishes, from grilled meats to hearty stews.