Napa Valley is home to some of the world's most sought-after, expensive Cabernet Sauvignons, many of them able to develop in a cellar for two decades or more (these wines are typically so powerfully tannic when young that cellaring them until they mellow is essential). But a number of the valley's best wineries, in addition to these premier bottlings, also produce more affordable Cabernets and Cabernet blends that are ready to drink as soon as they're released. They're ideal for uncorking while the top wines slowly age to perfection.
Wine to Drink Now: The 2004 Beringer Napa Valley Cabernet ($40) is plummy and silky.
Wine to Cellar: The 2003 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet ($115), the latest vintage of this bench-mark wine, has abundant black currant, espresso and oak-spice flavors, and should age well for 15 years or more.