6 Amazing Cabernet Sauvignons For Less Than $15

Bring these standout, budget Cabs to your next housewarming or dinner party.

Best of Cabernet Sauvignon Under 15 Dollars

 Courtesy of Viña Los Vascos

Right now, there are more great wines available from all over the world than any other time I can remember. There are also more great wine deals than ever before: Reds, whites, sparklers, and rosés that taste like they cost more than they actually do, which always seems to me like a solid definition of value. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of generic, bulk-produced wines that taste like little more than…wine. Or, put more succinctly, that taste primarily like the winemaking itself. This is one of the major reasons why finding a good Pinot Noir for under $25 or a good Cabernet Sauvignon for less than $15 is such a challenge. The shelves are full of sub-$15 Cabs. The tricky part is finding notable ones for that price tag.

As a general rule — and of course there are exceptions — the less pricey the wine, the more likely it is to be made from grapes sourced or grown in larger swaths of land. Finding a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for less than $15 is difficult, whereas retail shelves are full of Cabs labeled “California” within that pricing parameter.

There are some very good wines that are labeled as coming from a single state (Hahn’s California Cab is a gulpable example), but in general, reds and whites that are produced from more location-specific grapes tell a more compelling story. In other words, they tend to reflect the vintage and that all important sense of place in often uniquely compelling ways.

So I limited my tastings for this piece to wines that come from geographic areas smaller than states or countries. And within those parameters, I was able to find six standouts that are worth picking up for your next gathering. They range in style from bright and lively to deeper and richer in character. All of them, however, maintain a sense of balance, varietal accuracy (as in, they taste like Cab, and not some sort of generic platonic ideal of rich red wine), and value. For under $15, that’s pretty impressive.

2021 Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon

Crafted by the legendary Catena family in Mendoza, Argentina, this rich Cab balances its cafe mocha, warm vanilla, and cigar tobacco notes with charred sage, blood orange, ripe blackberries, and a spine of minerality. It’s a rich wine that still maintains a beautiful sense of balance.

2018 Be Human Cabernet Sauvignon

With vibrant purple plums, blueberries, and boysenberries to spare, this palate-coating red showcases both the sappy and the sweetly spiced sides of Columbia Valley, Washington Cab. And between April 1st and December 31st, 2023, $1 of every bottle sold will be donated to food banks across the country.

2020 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon

Best of Cabernet Sauvignon Under 15 dollars

Courtesy of Los Vascos

Hailing from the Colchagua Valley of Chile, this Cab, from Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), is a lifted, minty red whose hints of chamomile and spearmint are carried on a frame of structuring tannins that never overwhelm the red and black raspberries, cherries, and plums.

2018 Roaming Dog Cabernet Sauvignon

From the Columbia Valley of Washington, this is a rich, up-front Cab that drips with crushed blueberries, black plums, and hoisin sauce, all of it spiced with cinnamon and clove. As a bonus, $1 from each bottle sold will be donated to the ASPCA until they hit $50,000.

2019 Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

This energetic, herb-flecked Cab from Chile’s Maipo Valley is lively with raspberries and red cherries, which are dusted with sweet spice notes of cinnamon and cocoa powder.

2021 Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon

Best of Cabernet Sauvignon Under 15 Dollars

Courtesy of Santa Julia

Produced from organic grapes in Mendoza, Argentina, this Cabernet is a remarkable value, with the kind of detail and elegance that’s not all that easy to find in the under-$15 category. Dusty, well-integrated tannins frame a vibrant red whose pomegranate and red mountain-berry flavors are perky with smartly calibrated acidity. Notes of sage ride through the balanced, mouthwatering finish.

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