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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Coming from a vineyard first planted by Mondavi in the late 1990s, this well-priced and widely available wine shows blackberry, violets, black pepper and just snapped dark chocolate on the nose. Fresh, lively black cherries and blueberries meld with fennel, tarragon and lots of herbal spice, all held together by smooth tannins." (11/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Bright ruby. Lively aromas of redcurrant, cherry and peppery spices, with a subtle tobacco nuance emerging slowly. Tangy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and spicecake flavors and a sugg ...Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Sweet dark cherries, smoke, graphite and grilled herbs flesh out in the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, a voluptuous, racy wine that captures the essence of the vintage. Firm yet well-integrated tannins support the fruit in a powerful, structured Cabernet Sauvignon that delivers tons of quality for the money." (1/2015)91 points Wine Spectator: "*#78 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2015* Exhibits ripe and juicy, yet firm, flavors of currant and blackberry amid a gravelly earthiness before finding focus on the finish, where the tannins are chewy, revealing a licorice touch. ...Read More »
The Wetzel family has been growing Cabernet Sauvignon in Alexander Valley since the 1960s, and embody the Sonoma County spirit of winemaking, charging very fair prices for estate-grown, Alexander Valley wines, yet always innovating and pursuing quality. Wines are aged in their own shotcrete-walled caves, just steps from the winery. According to the winery: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Alexander Valley wine with medium body, great fruit flavors and grippy tannins. There are aromas of dark fruit, blackberry, cherry, cassis, plum, vanilla and a... Read More »
94 points Wine & Spirits: "*Best Buy* Beringer has made wine from Knights Valley, northwest of Napa, since the late 1970s, and now farms 500 acres of grapes on the cobbly soils that have sloughed off of the volcanic hillsides above. 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. It’s bright and accessible enough to decant now, but in ten years, it will be a rich, savory pleasure to open for prime rib." (10/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Ca ...Read More »
Martin Ray specializes in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon from the most esteemed sub-appellations of Napa, Sonoma, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and offers an amazing value over what you'd usually pay for such wines. 80% of this vintage is from the Stags Leap District, and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 6% Malbec and 4% Petite Sirah. The winery's tasting notes: "This complex but sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from some of the most sought-after regions in the Napa Valley showcases its roots from many of its mountain sources. Featuring ent... Read More »
Rudy Von Strasser may have got his start in the wine business as an intern at prestigious Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, but he hasn't let his head, or his prices, ascend into the stratosphere. The wine is made up of 100% Diamond Mountain fruit, some of which comes off the Von Strasser Estate. This is a concentrated, elegant, and eminently drinkable Cab delivering more-than-everyday quality for a fantastic price. From the winery: "This bold Cabernet Sauvignon has great perfume of violets. Intertwining aromas of blueberry,cassis and coffee all lead into a ric... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Bold aromas, thick layers of fruit flavor, and a supple but steely texture of fine tannins and acidity add up to a powerful and complex wine that should improve with age. Pure, dark-fruit flavors are accented by smoke and cardamom while the structure is mouth puckering with astringency but softened by the richness of body and fruit. Best after 2019." (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "A wine of substance and density, firm, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of mineral and gravel-laced dark berry, espresso, cedar and graphite flavors, ending with dry, chew ...Read More »
A blend of the traditional Bordeaux varietals: 43% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec and 5% Cab Franc. The aromas are bright and ripe upon opening and show vanilla, cedar, baking spice, cracked black pepper, cassis, French oak and red fruit. On the palate, the wine coats the mouth with notes of ripe red plums, dark cherry, black and red currant and baking spice. The wine is certainly big and rich, but wears its 14.5% ABV very well. The finish is complex and elegant, with a long, granular tannin structure. It is the perfect exam... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A California Côtes du Rhône look-alike, the 2012 Mountain Cuvée is a blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 8% Zinfandel and the rest small dollops of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec aged 14 months in mostly French oak. It reveals spicy, peppery, meaty notes intermixed with hints of Provençal herbs, dense black cherry and plum-like fruit, medium to full body, an attractive texture, and a seductive finish. Drink it over the next several years. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "An unidentified mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from throughout t ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Red currant and clove mark this wine that’s lean in yeasty bread tones, with soft tannins." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit was sourced from select vineyards around Sonoma County and blended with a splash of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged for more than a year in 30% new French oak before bottling.
Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* It may not come with a sense of high pedigree, and it is admittedly a bit light on stuffing, but this well- scrubbed, moderately fruity wine hits the varietal marks that very few Cabernets of its price do. It is medium-full-bodied, slightly rounded in feel and consistently keeps defined fruit in its sights, and its gentle, nicely integrated tannins makes it one that can be comfortably enjoyed in the near- to mid-term." (12/2014)
Wine Enthusiast: "Soft and fruity in black cherry and plum, this wine offers a solid foundation of cinnamon spice atop a mountain of blackberry. The acidity is well measured and the finish medium in length and breadth." (11/2015)
Wine & Spirits: "A velvety blend based on merlot, this is simple but clean, its strawberry-red fruit lifted...It’s light enough for roast chicken." (8/2015) K&L Notes: Lyeth's Meritage is a blend of the five red Bordeaux varietals with 58% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. With grapes sourced from select vineyards across Sonoma County, it is the flagship wine of the estate and delivers an excellent value. From the winery: "A brilliant garnet in color, this Meritage is rich with aromas of dark cherry, plum, and boysenberry with subtle ... Read More »
Layer Cake has assembled a sumptuous Cab from a cool vineyard in Alexander Valley and a warm vineyard in Paso Robles. This yin-yang endows the wine with with complexity and ripeness. From the winery: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon jumps from the glass with aromas of ripe Bing cherries and blackberries plus cedar and maduro tobacco. Deep layers of spice-infused dark fruit fill the mouth, with a rich, creamy layered texture, and powerful structure. Flavors of chocolate and espresso continue through the long, lingering finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The more serious from Avalon is the 60,000-case cuvée of 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa. Also 100% varietal, it was aged 16 months in French and American oak. It exhibits a dark ruby/plum color along with notes of sweet blackcurrants and plums intermixed with forest floor, licorice and subtle roasted herbs. Fleshy, round and seductive...(RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Soft and round, this 80% Cabernet Sauvignon also has 16% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc and was given 16 months of oak aging. Flavors lean toward red berry and cedar." (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Trim and tight, offering chewy, ceda ...Read More »
Napa Valley-based Louis M. Martini has always had a focus on Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, not least because Mr. Martini himself developed the Monte Rosso vineyard there in the 1930s. This county-wide blend, which Robert Parker Jr. has called "Always one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon" (Wine Advocate, 10/2014), is generally a blend of Dry Creek Valley vineyards like Frei Ranch with Alexander Valley fruit.
Mike Berthoud worked under Richard Arrowood at Chateau St. Jean, then was winemaker at Arrowood Winery. After 15 years at Arrowood, Mike moved on to Mayo Family Winery. Ursus is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. Winemaker's notes: "As always all of the grapes used to produce the blend are grown on the Berthoud estate. Ursus is the Latin word for Bear, while Berthoud is pronounced Bear-2. Just like the bear, Ursus is a muscular wine while maintaining an elegant balance. It is an old world style wine that is b... Read More »
Great wines at very good prices. That is what you get from Foxglove. This is a side project from Bob and Jim Varner, who bring us the great wines from the Varner and Neely labels. The Foxglove Cabernet is amazingly well balanced. Beautiful berry and cassis fruits with nicely integrated tannins and just a hint of earthy tannin. Tremendous value.
Joel Gott's 815 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from some of the most important appellations across California. With inclusion of fruit from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Lodi, Lake County, Paso Robles, and Monterey County, the resulting wine creates a broad snapshot of the stellar 2013 vintage. This perennial value is food-friendly and accessible with a modest 13.9% alcohol and 25% new oak barrels for aging. From the winery: "The 2013 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromatics of mocha, roasted blue fruits, plums, and cherry spice. The wine enters sweet ... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is also outstanding. Rich and dense with lots of crème de cassis and a hint of forest floor presented in a full-bodied, deep, lusty, opulent style, it can be enjoyed over the next decade. (RP)" (10/2014)
According to the winery: "The Cabernet Sauvignon is selected from well drained vineyards on cool rolling hills in Paso Robles. The vineyards receive plenty of mid-day heat and cool evening breezes to produce balanced grapes. The California Karma Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and full wine with youthful, juicy fruit aromas. This wine finishes off balanced with soft tannins and a fleshy mouth feel. Enjoy this Cabernet along with some grilled meat or your favorite pasta dish."
This Sonoma County bottling from Martin Ray is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Dry Creek, Alexander and Sonoma Valley appellations. The wine was aged for 18 months in a mix of both French and American oak, both new and previously filled. From the winery: "The blend of these different appellations adds a wonderful complexity to this wine, which shines through as savory spices, woodsy earth tones and sweet, baked cherries alongside wild boysenberry jam. This medium-bodied but full Cabernet has a rich front and mid-palate, which is concentrated by ... Read More »
From the team at Banshee Wines, best known hereabouts for supplying us with excellently sourced Pinot Noir.
From the winery: "Aromatic with ripe black cherry, blackcurrant and berry fruit with vanilla, cinnamon and subtle dried fall leaf accents. Classic cabernet with moderate plus blackcurrant and cherry fruit and baking spice flavors on the entry. Sweet tobacco and savory herbal notes arrive on the mid palate, along with beautifully balanced tannins that provide a structure that supports the wine through its perfectly balanced, clean finish."
The 2012 vintage in Sonoma County was a productive one, and this mostly Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with a few lots from Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley, didn't need more than 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec to help flesh it out. The grapes are sourced 90% from Alexander Valley, 6% Sonoma Valley and 4% Dry Creek Valley. The wine is aged for 16 months in 100% small oak barrels of which 24% are new French oak and 10% new American oak. A beautiful wine on the nose, the 2012 Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ... Read More »
Jon and Susan Pey are talented, passionate vignerons with access to some incredible vineyard sources throughout Northern California. They produce a collection of wines that over-deliver in quality for the price under their various boutique labels. The fruit for the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Oak Knoll, Rutherford, and Oakville appellations. From the winery: "Vintage 2013 followed the excellent 2012 and led to debates as to which vintage was 'better.' Our sense is they are both very, very high quality; both had abundant sunshine, cool evenings... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon shows little Cabernet character, yet has good fruit and an up-front, straightforward feel in its red currants, licorice and spice. Medium-bodied and well made, it should be consumed in its first 3-5 years of life. (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: From Niven Family Wine Estates and their SIP (Sustainability in Practice™ certified vineyards, this good value Paso Cab is typically bold and rich, "loaded with blackberry jam, cherry, black currant, exotic spices and cola, with notes of caramelized oak," according the winery's note.
The wine is made up of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It drinks well right now but should hold for several years. Members of the K&L staff had a chance to go down and spend a couple hours with Doug and his crew at the winery. The thought was to make a red blend from Happy Canyon, which K&L had never done before. Happy Canyon is the smallest AVA in Santa Barbara County. It lies north and west of Lake Cachuma and is home to six major vineyards: Cimarone, Grassini, Happy Canyon Vineyard, McGinley, Star Lane, and... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another non-vintage cuvée introduced by the sons is the non-vintage Arme Lot #1. A Bordeaux blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, it is a deep, delicious, full-bodied, 5,000-case cuvée boasting a dark ruby/purple color as well as attractive notes of cassis, dusty, loamy soil and foresty undertones. Lush and heady, it is ideal for drinking over the next decade or more. The Bilbro brothers, Jake and Scott, have taken over for father, Chris, who is still very much involved, but the newer generation has the responsibili ...Read More »
From the winery: "From its first aromatic impressions, this lovely wine delivers classic Cabernet Sauvignon character, with ripe blackberry and boysenberry notes complemented by hints of toasty oak, sweet cocoa and baking spices. On the palate, beautiful structure and supple, mouth-coating tannins underscore the fruit and add to the long, layered finish."
Two talented Paso Robles winemakers joined forces to craft this Cabernet; Curt Schlachlin and Andrew Jones. Curt is winemaker at Sans Liege, known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, and Andrew is winemaker at Field Recordings and spends most days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast! This is every bit as good as the previous releases, maybe just a bit more structured and black-fruited. The wine greets you with a dark garnet color with purple accents, along with scents of lush blueberry, boysenberry, curra... Read More »
From the winery: "The fruit for our 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was selected from three of our estate vineyards in Paso Robles. It was handpicked and sorted in the early morning to ensure quality and uniformity of ripeness. Afterwards, the fruit was destemmed and gently crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Pump-overs took place regularly to enhance color and help extract tannins from the skin. After pressing, the wine was racked into barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. While the majority of wine was aged in French oak, we also ... Read More »
According to the winery: "Ripe blackberry, black cherry, rich dark chocolate and fresh spearmint. Velvety flavors of blackberry and black cherry, dark chocolate with a hint of fresh spearmint. This wine is full-bodied with rich tannins and a long finish. 2013, much like the 2012 vintage, produced some of the best fruit we have seen in decades. With the body of a great Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance to pair with a wide range of dishes, this wine is sure to become a household favorite for Tuesday night or weekend date nights!"
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The real glories here are the red wines, and the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow (110,000 cases) is a major sleeper in the Cabernet Sauvignon category. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the backwaters of Lodi, and sporting an incredible label that reminds me of the Beatles' Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. In this case it's a true freak show. This delicious, dense purple-colored wine possesses plenty of crème de cassis, licorice, spice box and cedar notes in a medium- to full-bodied, supple, explosively fruity, fruit-bomb ...Read More »
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 90 percent of this sumptuous wine, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot rounding out the blend. It's got the chutzpah to stand up to a weeknight burger, but is elegant enough for a sleek Saturday night fête. From the winemaker: "Bright black cherries lead the charge, followed by dusty cocoa and roasting coffee beans. Dense texture and a fine sense of balance enhance the pleasing aromatics of blackberry, currants, vanilla bean and dark chocolate. Approachable and immediately delicious. 2013 Twenty Rows Cabernet is an a... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is an attractive, open-knit wine that will drink well relatively early for the year. Dark red cherry, cloves, mint, new leather and cedar are all quite expressive. Succulent and forward, Mondavi's Cabernet Sauvignon is also one of the more approachable wines of the vintage and is a solid value within the high-flying world of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 was done with 36% estate fruit. (AG)" (10/2015)
From the winery: "The grapes for the 2013 Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced principally from vineyards in Napa Valley and Lake Counties and a small portion coming from the Alexander Valley. The separate lots were blended together after a number of exhaustive trials. I am very pleased with the final cuvee. The blend is almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small percentage of Merlot. The resulting full-bodied wine is redolent of perfectly ripe mahogany-colored bing cherries and currants. These aromas are echoed on the palate where dark fruits... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Luis Moya of Vinos Unico makes wines that continue to impress us for their quality and affordability under his Urbanite Cellars label. His objective is simple: to make the kind of wines he likes, for everyday consumption. Fortunately, we share his tastes! In Cabernet, this translates to a medium-bodied, complex and approachable style, with fruit, acidity, and oak in perfect harmony, moderate alcohol and suave tannins. Grapes for 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from California coastal AVAs and the Sacramento River Delta region. It's a lush and fruity... Read More »
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, 4% Petite Verdot, 3% Malbec, 3% Merlot. 60% Monterey County, 30% Paso Robles, 10% Santa Barbara County. According to the winery: "Our 2013 Central Coast Cabernet has aromas of dark cherry cola, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is rich, yet balanced. Flavors of currant and cola are held up nicely by well-structured tannins with a full bodied finish. The fruit was gently crushed with varying amounts of whole berries and pumped into both open and closed-topped fermentation tanks. From here they were yeast inoculated and then pump... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Buehler's early reputation was with Cabernet Sauvignon and they continue to produce a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon priced well under three digits. At full retail, their 15,500 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon sell for $25 a bottle, making this another great value. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon offers lots of crème de cassis, charcoal, and a touch of oak emerge from this plummy, supple-textured, exuberant, medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It will satisfy most Cabernet enthusiasts if drunk over the next 6-8 years. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Rickshaw Wines are made by the three talented young men from Banshee--Noah, Steve and Baron--who share a very clear vision: to make "kick ass wines at easy to swallow prices." Fortunately for everyone involved, these guys know what they're doing. The 2012 vintage in California was phenomenal, and the wine showcases the perfect weather. From the winery" In this rendition of our Rickshaw Cabernet Sauvignon we were able to pull in some stellar pieces from Napa that really provide ballast and class to the wine. Dark currant, espresso, black plum and pencil l... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
From the Winery; Winemaker Dennis Hill’s deep knowledge of the best California Cabernet Sauvignon climates, soil types and vineyards, coupled with long-term relationships with premiere growers, allow sourcing for the finest grapes to craft the ultimate Cannonball flavor profile.An exciting revival of a classic style. It has the best characteristics of traditional California and old world Bordeaux. is vintage was aged 15 months in French oak, 35% new oak. Features aromatic tiers of ripe mulberry, spiced black tea and purple floral notes. Ample at its cor... Read More »