Undoubtedly the wine world’s most famous red grape, Cabernet Sauvignon is grown far and wide. Here, Ray Isle rounds up terrific bottles from its best-known home outside of Bordeaux—Napa Valley—plus elsewhere in California and beyond.
2005 Spottswoode Family Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon ($130).
New boutique wineries often generate the most buzz, but many of Napa Valley’s benchmark names, such as Beringer, Chappellet and Spottswoode, are producing wines that are just as good as the latest cult collectible (not to mention much easier to find). This is typically because they either own or have long-term contracts with some of the best vineyards in Napa—one benefit of having gotten into the game first—along with some of the region’s top winemaking talent. Go to article »
2004 Macauley Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet.
There are also a surprising number of great Napa Cabernet Sauvignons lodged between the historic brands and the ultra-expensive mailing-list rarities. Most come from wineries that have quietly chugged along for several years, putting out top-quality wines yet never drawing the sort of elusive media attention that would put them on collectors’ speed-dials. These Cabernets are not necessarily cheap, but in terms of the quality they deliver for their price, they’re often much better deals than the white-hot cult names. Go to article »
2006 Valentin Bianchi Famiglia Bianchi Cabernet Sauvignon ($19).
There are terrific, inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignons to be found everywhere, even in California and Bordeaux. Argentina, Australia and Chile are famously great sources; places such as Washington state and Italy also deserve bargain-hunters’ attention. As is always the case with inexpensive wines, the trick is separating the gold from the dross—but hey, that’s what this column is for. Go to article »