We are starting off our new year with a wine subject that is guaranteed to arouse the interest of Cabernet lovers everywhere: the search for quality Cab at a reasonable price. Cabernet is produced at every price level from the questionable to the ethereal with the quality level to match. It is difficult to put a price on the ethereal although some California producers are attempting to do so, pushing the price level past the $600.00 mark (I kid you not). But if you are not interested in “trophy” wines, let’s get real with wines such as those below.
2013 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
List price 15.00; Our price 11.99
This is an elegant, medium-bodied Cabernet with aromas of black cherry and plum followed by subtle flavors of strawberry and spice. Firm yet supple tannins finish off this approachable fruit-driven Cabernet, making it ideal for a variety of food pairings.
2014 Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
List price 15.00; Our price 12.99
This Cabernet may be a sign of Concannon changing from plebian plonk production and rededicating themselves to quality over quantity. It received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast and an Editors' Choice rating: “This is a strong wine for the price, unfolding with caramelized berries, kirsch, black cassis, wet river stone and tight plum skins on the dense nose. Cooked blackberries and black-cherry jam show on the palate, where elegant graphite tannins make for a very silky, earthy wine.”
2013 Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
List price 19.00; Our price 14.99
The wine displays aromas of black cherry and blackberry fruit dusted with chocolate, along with dried herbs, cinnamon and vanilla. Rich flavors of blackberry, plum and dark chocolate are layered throughout the palate, while its sturdy structure and integrated tannins add a light chalkiness to the long, smooth finish. It has a subtle smokiness from its oak aging, giving a satisfying feeling of completeness.
2012 Three Knights Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley
List price 20.00; Our price 15.99
This change up Cabernet Franc delivers concentrated berry flavors combined with caramel and vanilla. In the mouth, the wine presents spicy flavors of anise and fresh ground pepper. At the finish the flavors combine as a complex, sophisticated wine.
2013 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
List price 25.00; Our price 19.99
Dark red cherry, cloves, mint, new leather and cedar are all quite expressive. Succulent and forward, this Cabernet is approachable and is a solid value within the high-flying world of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
2013 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley
List price 25.00; Our price 19.99
This lineup from Beringer and winemaker Laurie Hook is commendable for a large production value-priced gems that deliver fabulous quality for the money. It received 94 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine: "Beringer has made wine from Knights Valley, northwest of Napa, since the late 1970s. This 2012 is a bundle of energy, the structure tight and stony, the fruit pure, its bold and refreshing black raspberry tone interlaced with aromas that suggest resinous pine needles and a hint of smoked tea.
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