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Following is the list of the Cabernet Sauvignons numbered 1 through 6 in the order in which they were tasted. Each bottling reflects its own price bracket: under five, five to ten, ten to fifteen, fifteen to twenty, twenty to twenty-five and twenty-five to thirty. Prices and notes on the wines are as follows.
#1 South Coast Winery 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon,
Wild Horse Peak
This block of plantings receives more sunlight than the other blocks of this Temecula vineyard and the wine is very ripe and big, a convincing argument for the whole South Coast region. It displays classic Cab aromas and flavors in a wine of style and substance, at a great price. Owing to its age, the fruit is shifting to the dried fruit end of the spectrum. From one of owner Jim Carter’s prize vineyard blocks.
#2 Copperidge Vineyards n.v. Cabernet Sauvignon
This product by Gallo is oriented towards the restaurant trade and frequently is better than some of the higher level lines such as Turning Leaf. The wine is medium-bodied with flavors of blackberry, plums, grapes and cherry fruit; a hint of spice. Soft and supple tannins make for an easy drinking, everyday wine.
#3 Peju Province 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
This wine has notes of deep, dark blackberry and plum with hints of vanilla, tobacco and spice. It has a smooth supple entry with a rich, round mid-palate that is elegant in style, finishing with soft lingering tannins.
#4 Murphy-Goode 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon,
This wine has a soft texture and rich flavors of sweet black fruit and spice. Its soft, rich tannins make it a very approachable wine that is ready to drink now but equally suitable for hanging onto for years.
#5 Castoro 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
The grapes had great intensity and color. This wine is packed with rich berry and full fruit capped with a toasty oak note. The finish fills your mouth with lush flavors that are not blown away with excessive tannins. Gold Medal at the Editors Choice Wine Competition.
#6 Aquinas 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
This Cabernet has a bouquet filled with aromas of blackberries, fresh figs, cedar oak, and hints of minerals and earthy notes. From the first sip, this wine reveals enveloping flavors of currant, blackberries, black olives, tobacco, and toasted walnuts, finishing with rich French oak and subtle cloves.