Westhope Cabernet Sauvignon, Our Drink of LAST Week!

It came from an Okie barrel.
It came from an Okie barrel.
Meloni Janzen Designs photo courtesy of Girouard Vines

Discovering a ripping California Cabernet in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, wine bar is mind-blowing enough, but learning that particular cab is only available there? Cue up the trumpets in the sky because the apocalypse is here. A pre-wedding party brought me to Girouard Vines, which is in an Art Deco building that anchors downtown Tulsa's East Village District, where I was smitten by my glass (times seven) of Westhope Cabernet Sauvignon, the second wine to come from the establishment's Tulsa Deco series. Westhope, which is depicted on the label, is the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structure in Tulsa, the residence of Tulsa Tribune founder Richard Lloyd Jones.

Despite the Great Plains locations, grapes that go into the bottle come from Napa Valley. George Girouard started growing grapes in south Tulsa County 50 years ago and went on to blend hybrids with Northern California fruiting berries trucked in for decades before his son Chris founded Girouard Vines in 2007.

Westhope Cabernet Sauvignon, which won a silver medal in the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, has a pleasing nose with plums, blackberries, red licorice and red and black cherries. Medium bodied, the taste is rather slight before building to an abrupt burnt finish. It's excellent alone or with a meal (and then alone again). The wedding party picked up my tab (score!), but a bottle of Westhope could be taken home for $30. That's triple what I usually spend but considering the quality it's a bargain. Air fare not included.

Girouard Vines, 817 E. 3rd St., Tulsa, Oklahoma, (918) 585-8463; tuslawine.com.

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