Saturday, December 18, 2010

2008 Treasure Hunter Cabernet Sauvignon

Okay, folks, I have to be honest here. When I saw this wine come into the store I was more than a bit hesitant. I've been a big fan of the monster Cabs from Napa Valley's Diamond Mountain District for some time now; particularly those from von Strasser. But most Cabernets from this notoriously rugged volcanic soil retail from $50 to well north of three digits. So I looked at this wine for a few days wondering to myself how on earth someone could possibly release a decent Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain for a mere $25. This wine simply had to be either total plonk or one of the steals of the year....

Don't let the straight-out-of-Pirates-of-the-Caribbean label fool you. The 2008 Treasure Hunter Radio Caroline Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District is a seriously good Cab-ARRGH-net Sauvignon. Jet black in color, the wine features aromas and flavors of tar, mineral, dry cocoa powder and rustic, briery black fruit. You can almost taste the rocky, volcanic soil the wines struggle to grow in. Fiercely tannic with screeching acidity, I have little doubt this wine could easily age a decade or longer.

Treasure Hunter is a negociant operation that cellars and bottles a myriad of wines including a number of Napa and Sonoma Cabernets, a Grenache from Santa Barbara, a couple of proprietary red blends and even an Alexander Valley Chardonnay. If all of their wines are as good as the Radio Caroline, then it is worth keeping an eye on this winery.


  1. Every treasure hunter wine I have had rocks!

  2. I live in Northern Ohio and Treasure Hunter is everywhere. I have tried all their cabs and they were serious business. I was hesitant to try a chard and pinot but they were incredible. How are they able to deliver such good wines for so cheap?

  3. I was told by someone in wine distribution that the person who runs Treasure Hunter used to help out wine makers that were having problems either with their crops or the wine making process. He developed a great reputation for helping a lot of producers without asking much in return. Now, he's in the business of buying great wine that producers can't sell at prices they are accustomed to because of the weak economy. And since he has a good reputation, the best producers sell to him. He supposedly tries wines from a lot of top producers who have more wine than they can sell, and most don't make the cut for the Treasure Hunter label. I've tried several of the cabs and was very impressed.