Cabernet Sauvignon “bites back”? Maybe, if it’s young; but here’s a perfectly delicious 2010 that’s Merlot smooth and Zinfandel juicy

Rickshaw 2010 “California” Cabernet Sauvignon with a solid Napa Valley base

Reaching 80 years on earth is wonderful in any case, but if your niece and nephew-in-law are wonderful like mine are . . . it’s already heavenly!

That’s not only because they chose a gift of bi-monthly deliveries of half-cases of fine wines brought out of the shadows by Food and Wine magazine . . . but because F&W long has been the wine and food publication that comes closest to my own taste and budget. Who knew? I hadn’t known Sherry and Ron did!

I’m writing, and posting, now because yesterday Sherry and I luxuriated in a tiny mom-and-pop pizza place right on San Francisco Bay at Sausalito. I got to bring home some leftover Venice Pizza eatery “Georgio” special — thin scorched crust pie with eggplant, kalamata olives, cheese(of course) and lots of fresh basil pesto. I’m lunching on re-warmed half-slices right now, having chopped a small slice of asiago cheese rubbed with olive oil and pesto, as a top-plopper.

Yesterday Sherry and I had a glass of ordinary chianti which was okay, but today . . . a Napa-based Cabernet Sauvignon that I swear will disarm anybody who knows reds from whites but who says the character of CabSauv is way too Schwatrzenegger-bodied for them. They’re bowled over by too-young tannic acids, usually; but 2010 Rickshaw seems not to have any tannic acid at all — certainly not a young snarling bite. There’s good tannin in this wine, but it’s subdued; clean, friendly fruit and acids come through.

The wine is a lovely deep garnet color in the glass, if you stop pouring at one ounce. Beyond that, it’s deep warm black (only possible with wine, maybe). Sniffing it surrounds you with forward blackberry and cassis liqueur aromas: it’s appealing!

On the palate, the aromas become augmented — surprisingly? — with citrus and mint.

Technically, there’s great fruity acid balance — bright,very long aftertaste. I’m not sure how long this wine can be expected to age: maybe best to drink by 2015? – Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster.