Cranberry in color, not the purple mulberry of a younger wine. Almost scentless, as cabernets tend to be -- a little clean leather, perhaps, certainly none of the hard green pepper smells of a young wine. The tannins have eased away, the fruit has thinned, and a little gentle acidity has remained. The result is a pleasant little glassful to accompany an ordinary weeknight dinner. (Salmon patties, anyone?)
You won't stagger off from the table in transports of delight, but you may muse that this is what you wish all yeoman cabernets could be, right now. And yet the Gallo people were anxious to pull this off the shelves, because the label art was out of date. And because "it's the 2004."
More recent vintages of William Hill cabernet retail for about $20.