When you are introduced to someone for the first time, that initial encounter can generate a very strong first impression. Whether you are meeting them blindly or through someone else, it is ultimately your judgement, your senses, that create that estimation. Spend a little time…


When you are introduced to someone for the first time, that initial encounter can generate a very strong first impression. Whether you are meeting them blindly or through someone else, it is ultimately your judgement, your senses, that create that estimation. Spend a little time with your new acquaintance, and you may find your opinion change.

Experiencing a new wine is much like making a new acquaintance. Don’t you agree?

A few months ago, I had the chance to meet one of my husband’s colleagues whose name I had heard mentioned many times in conversation. It’s always wonderful to have the opportunity to put faces to names, and it’s especially nice to get to know acquaintances better in a casual setting. We had him over for dinner; as it turns out, he is a wine enthusiast with excellent taste. And he introduced us to a lovely wine.

He brought a 2006 Malk Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that was new to me. I certainly recognized the Stags Leap District appellation, and of course, enjoy a good Cab, so needless to say, I was very excited to taste this particular wine. We finally opened it the other evening.

I was not disappointed. As I lifted my glass, my nose was greeted by a gorgeous bouquet of luscious blackberries, the darkest cherries, and even a hint of licorice. The inky wine had a strong but exceedingly beautiful perfume to it, something I did not expect from a Cab. The tannins were present, but not at all overbearing, so for impatient wine lovers like myself, this Cab is definitely drinkable now. I would love to revisit it again in a few years, though. The overall body of the wine was really pleasant, but not what I consider an orthodox Cabernet Sauvignon.

Malk’s Cab is so unique, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed drinking it without food. However, I would love to enjoy this with a hefty seafood risotto with a generous dusting of Parmegiano Reggiano or a delicate veal cutlet.

What I love about Malk Family Vineyards is their dedication to small production. Right now, they only produce a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc. Only 350 cases of the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon were produced, and I was pleased to learn that they were rated Gold, or in the top 25, of the Top 100 Cabs of the Napa Valley. And, I have to admit, I love their label. In general, I tend to prefer simple labels without too much pizazz — I am especially drawn to the logo inspired by the adorable likeness of their late Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Griffin.

This Cab definitely tells a story, you can taste it. I hope you get to make its acquaintance, too. Spend a little time and get to know one another better.


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  1. Cristina

    I enjoy a good Cab. Sounds like something I’d like to try. Going to keep my eyes open for it to give it a try too. Thanks for sharing…

  2. Jean

    I enjoy cabs more than any other variety it seems, and when you are introduced to a good wine, you always remember the pleasure of that first taste.

    I’m by no means a wine expert but I’ve grown to know what I like, thanks to my husband’s taste for excellent wine.

    I’ll have to put this on our to-try list. Thanks!

  3. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    Love Cabs! I have never heard of this one before and it sounds wonderful. I think that label is wonderful – love the doggie. This will have to be a must try. Thank you for introducing it to all of your readers!!!

    • Liren

      Hi Lisa, I do hope you get to try this. Isn’t that doggie on the label adorable? Yet sophisticated? It’s so well done!

  4. Cheryl

    Beautiful post as always…I will look for this one, we love Cabs! Your picture is very interesting! Have fun in Silverado, I will be thinking of you and look forward to reading/hearing all about it.

    • Liren

      Thank you, Cheryl. The Taste at Silverado was a beautiful event, and I thought of you while there; you would have loved it. Hope you try this Cab from Malk – it is definitely remarkable.

  5. norma

    Great post and I am going to try to find it when I go out today. Will let you know if I have any luck

    • Liren

      Hi Norma, I encourage you to try this wine, but it is unlikely you will find it locally there. It is only available for purchase through the winery (online is best). Good luck!

    • Liren

      It’s tasty and just wonderful, Brian. Hope you do get to taste it.

  6. Sara

    Nice review. I always stand infront of the wines, wondering if they taste as good as the label…ha ha …stupid way to figure it out. I get stuck on the same stuff unless someone suggests another is tasty. The Tuna looks so delish below, I am thinking of Tuna for lunch today.

    • Liren

      Hi Sara, thank you so much. I have to admit, there have been many times in the past where I have been influenced by a label :) Some are just stunning! But it really does help when a wine comes well recommended.

      As for the tuna, thanks! I hope you got your tuna for lunch!

  7. Nancy Heitel-Malk

    It’s my husband, Brian, who actually produces this wine; we’re thrilled that you like it! What a hoot it was to read your comments. I wanted to mention that, unfortunately, the only place anyone can actually purchase the wine, other than some restaurants and wine brokers who carry it, is the website: We really don’t make enough cases of the wine to carry it in grocery stores.
    If you go on our website, you’ll see that we recently started producing a Sauvignon Blanc, too, which has been received very well. You will also see our new dog, Maddie (Griffin, as you know, passed away, at 15-1/2 yrs. old).
    I need to figure out how to make a new label incorporating Maddie’s image….maybe for our Sauvignon Blanc, in the future.

    • Liren

      Hi, Nancy – Thank you so much for dropping by and for your lovely comment. I’m pleased that you enjoyed the post, and thank you, too for mentioning how to purchase it. I am excited to try your Sauvignon Blanc and will be ordering some, soon. I definitely think you should label it with Maddie’s image, it would be perfect!

  8. Alan Voisard

    I have had the pleasure of trying Griffin/Malk cab 05,06 and 07. Each year, it’s hard to believe…but more unique and more delicious. Malk winery is becoming one of those small wineries that have the flexiblilty and insight in offering an exciting wine to those looking for excitment in a cab!
    Looking forward to many more lovely bottles.

    Alan Voisard
    Channel swimmer

    • Liren

      Alan, thank you for stopping by – it must have been wonderful to have the chance to try three vintages of the Malk Cab. I do believe you when you say it improves with age, and I look forward to tasting more (if I can manage to resist opening bottles) in the future.

  9. Lisa Hammond

    I agree wholeheartedly with your review of this wine. It is deep in color, lush in texture and oh so flavorful! I had it a few months ago with friends, along with several bottles from various big name wineries in Stags Leap, and the Malk Cabernet was the stand-out. I love it!

    • Liren

      Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by and for your wonderful comment. It really is a wonderful wine, and I recently enjoyed Malk’s Sauvignon Blanc. It’s another gem!

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