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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points James Suckling: "This is dense yet fresh and lively with ripe currant, plum and dried mushroom character. Medium to full body, crisp and delicious. Real Napa at a solid price. Drink now." (6/2016) Wine Spectator: "Fresh herb, dill and charry oak notes make this distinctive, if a bit dry and smoky. Retains an elegant mouthfeel. (Web Only—2016)" 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.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Truly a wine that overdelivers, this packs molten fudge cake, vanilla-laced black-currant syrup and chocolate pudding with a fresh sprig of mint on the nose. The palate is soft and dynamic, with ripe black currants given complexity though licorice and butter-softened roasting herbs, all wrapped in tannins that keep the flavors steady throughout. (MK)" (3/2016)
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. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "An unidentified mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from throughout the county, this is a smoky, leathery e ...Read More »
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 »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "For all its plumpness, this feels sophisticated, its sense of fatness coming from abundant, perfectly ripe tannins rather than jammy, overripe fruit. Its clean, dark berry flavors are harmonious and lasting, the structure seeming at one moment supple and easy, at the next more deep and stony. Give it another five years in the bottle before pouring it with a standing rib roast." (2/2016) 90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is terrific... Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, spices, mint and gravel meld into the voluptuous, racy finish. There are plenty of ...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 »
From one of the most legendary of vintages we've secured a Cabernet deal that brings both the sensational quality of the Napa Valley with the perfect growing conditions of 2013 and combines them into one unbeatable price. The dark fruit envelopes the palate on the initial sip, while plenty of tannic structure carries through to the finish. This is simply a beautiful wine you can open tonight, or any other day of the week, but with potential to go much longer in the cellar! While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you tha... Read More »
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)
92 points James Suckling: "A big and juicy style of Napa red for those who love the 1990s genre. Yet there's a form and tension to the wine with chewy tannins that make it very drinkable and intriguing. Drink or hold." (1/2016) 91 points Vinous: "A rich, full-throttle wine, the 2013 Red Blend Taken, a Merlot/Cabernet blend is one of the more flamboyant wines readers will come across in this vintage. Unctuous on the palate, the 2013 is loaded with tons of super-ripe fruit and French oak, with all of its elements nicely put together." (9/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon with 40% Merlot is youthf ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* With small additions of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine opens in green olive and celery, with a tease of mint, before unleashing a mouthfilling core of black cherry and cassis. Lively acidity presides over all, giving a powerful backbone to a sophisticated wine." (6/2016) Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* Sweet oak makes an immediate play for attention in both the moderately rich aromas and flavors of this nicely rounded and fairly outgoing effort, but steady ripe cherry fruit soon catches up and expediently takes the lead. The wine is subject to a littl ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A firm and beautiful red with black currant and berry character. Full-bodied, silky and refined. Shows real Napa Valley Cabernet character. Drink or hold." (7/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Mostly from estate vineyards, and blended with other Bordeaux varieties, this wine balances dense, chewy, sizable tannins with a juicy core of blackberry, baking spices and leather. Given time, its sense of elegance should rule over its power, while for now, it finishes in bittersweet chocolate. Cellar through 2020. (VB)" (12/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Sour cherry flavors fill this soft Cabernet, ...Read More »
Cabernet Sauvignon excels at Ancient Peaks' estate Margarita Vineyard, where it achieves both ripeness and balance amid one of the coolest, longest growing seasons in the Paso Robles region. Here, their Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted to a range of soil types, bringing added natural complexity to the wine. Taste Notes from the Winery: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon presents multidimensional aromas of plum, raspberry, tobacco and toasted oak. Rounded flavors of black cherry and black currant are interwoven with earthier hints of olive, mint, black tea... Read More »
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 »
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 »
Producer Note: "Native fermentation, 100% de-stemmed, 100% whole berry, 100% neutral French Oak, unfined and unfiltered, 85% Seaton vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, 15% Totem Ridge vineyard in Knight's Valley. Tasting notes: This full-bodied red wine has blackberry and cocoa flavors, with some pepper and spice on the finish."
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Substantive flavors and a rich, tannic texture form a serious profile for this deeply colored, dry and full-bodied wine. It smells like raspberries, tastes deep and concentrated, and has a very firm and nicely astringent mouthfeel. Pour it with a big steak, chop or roast." (4/2016)
Fruit-forward with soft tannins and restrained oak, this Cabernet Sauvignon is made in a vibrant and substantial style that is very drinkable in its youth. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were sourced from select vineyards across Napa Valley and vinified by Christian Moueix's winemaking team (also responsible for Dominus) at their facility in Yountville. This excellent value in Napa Cab evokes tones of red fruit, cassis, and eucalyptus.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a hearty Meritage employing all five red Bordeaux varieties. The color is black and the fruit equally dark and rich, offering muscular tannins around rich notes of blackberry, cedar and herb. (VB)" (3/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Proprietary Red Meritage, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, reveals surprisingly soft, round, easygoing flavors of black cherries, black currants, spice and earth. Medium-bodied, charming and more sensual and seductive than the more expensive 2010 Signature, the Meritage ca ...Read More »
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot. Fermented in 100% stainless steel and aged in 75% neutral oak, 25% new French Oak. According to the winery: "Our Cabernet Sauvignon is a rustic wine with a deep, dark nose of blackberry, currants and cocoa, which show off the natural structure and power of each varietal in the finished blend. Enjoy with a sliced venison loin or hangar steak seared in cast iron and finished in the oven. Chop up some new potatoes; cover them with fresh rosemary and your favorite olive oil. Grab some black... Read More »
According to winemaker Janet Myers: "Over three decades ago, Justin Meyer took over the winemaking at Franciscan Estate with a highly meticulous approach. Dividing our Oakville Estate into sections, he fermented and aged each vineyard block separately to bring out the best expression of each lot, then blended the best lots together to create wines of distinction. Thus began our tradition of small-lot winemaking, which I am proud to continue today. Each vintage, we make over 200 separate lots of Bordeaux varietals, honing the blend during 18 months of bar... Read More »
Organically grown, Justin's 2014 Cabernet is rich and full bodied. Black fruit, spice, tobacco, violet and savory herbal notes will satisfy any red wine lover.
Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be professionally reviewed, Robert Parker praised the 2013: "The 2013 Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a nearly 11,000-case cuvée, comes from northern Paso Robles from all hillside vineyards and represents a soft, round, juicy, succulent style of Cabernet. It has black and red currants, loamy soil notes and plenty of juiciness. The wine is delicious and best drunk over the next 2-3 years. The following notes include value-priced wines from the Varner brothers under the moniker Foxglove and they are indeed great va... Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Bold, supple blue fruit gives this cabernet an impression of simple, healthy richness, while that exuberance is held in check by a tannic grip that seems to come from fruit skin as much as oak. It’s already accessible, but may gain additional dimension with a few years in bottle. Well-priced and smartly crafted, it’s a wine for roast beef." (12/2015)
The excellent 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet vintage is yielding fantastic wines, and the entry-level bottlings have greatly benefited with their ample concentration and structure. Honig utilized fruit from their sustainably farmed estate vineyard in Rutherford as well as fruit from other local growers. The wine was aged for 18 months in American oak (35% new) before the lots were selected for inclusion in this final blend. From the winery: "A big Cabernet with balance and finesse, with characters of black fruit, baking spices, black cherry, lavender, toaste... 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: "Our 2014 Vintage is crafted from carefully selected grapes to yield an intense, deeply colored wine of concentrated aromas and flavors. The wine is approachable and delicious and full of dark cherries and black currants and has notes of cedar, sandalwood and coffee."
91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I think even a step up over the killer 2013, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is loaded with notions of black raspberry, cassis, spice and licorice. More textured, voluptuous, layered and concentrated than all of the previous vintages... (JD)" (8/2015)
Harvested from the newly designated Santa Margartia Ranch and Estrella District AVAs in Paso Robles, Broadside crafts their Cabernet Sauvignon with minimal intervention for the sake of varietal purity and expression of vintage and terroir. The wine is aged for 14 months in neutral oak (both French and American). From the winery: "Our 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon highlights a beautiful vintage. A balanced growing season lent itself to producing impeccable fruit, not unlike 2013, with slightly greater intensity and concentration. A strong showing of... Read More »
Vinous: "Opaque ruby. Dark berries, licorice, cedary oak and a hint of pipe tobacco on the pungent nose. Gently sweet and velvety in the mouth, offering warm cherry and blackcurrant flavors and a hint of bitter chocolate. Dusty tannins frame the smoke-accented finish, which leaves behind a touch of coconut. This wines was aged in a 50/50 blend of French and American oak, 30% of it new. (JR)" (9/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
90-92 points Vinous: "Arrowood's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County is plump, juicy and forward, with lovely depth and terrific overall balance. Dark red cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate, spices and new leather flow through to the effortless, gracious finish. Dollops of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc round out the blend in this stylish red. (AG)" (1/2015)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Cabernet Sauvignon excels at Ancient Peaks' estate Margarita Vineyard, where it achieves both ripeness and balance amid one of the coolest, longest growing seasons in the Paso Robles region. Here, their Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted to a range of soil types, bringing added natural complexity to the wine.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Consistently one of the great values in Cabernet Sauvignon from Northern California is Louis M. Martini’s Sonoma County 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Petitie Sirah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. They make 353,000 cases of it, so there shouldn’t be many complaints about finding it. This is another beauty from the Martinis, aged in a combination of French and American oak staves in tank. The wine is dark ruby/purple and displays delicious black and red currant fruit with some underlying soil and underb ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This wine over-delivers a mouthful of juicy quality vis-a-vis price, combining Cab with smaller dabs of Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Savory blackberry and cassis lift the fruitiness, seasoned in savory tones of black tea and cranberry that give it an edge. Fleshy and smooth, it’s a good wine to stock up on. (VB)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star & Good Value* Smelling variously of ripe cherries, root beer, graphite and loamy earth and as explicitly varietal in flavor as it is in aroma, this easy going, well-balanced, modestly tanni ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Their newer non-vintage blends ratchet up the level of quality, such as the NV Arme Lot 3, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. This is a big Bordeaux blend, aged up to three years in neutral oak prior to being bottled. It’s a blend of three vintages, 2011, 2012 and 2013. All the fruit comes from not only their estate, but from many of their close friends located in Sonoma and Mendocino. The wine is a 6,000-case North Coast appellation, with elegant black cherry and blackcurrant fruit as well as tobacco leaf ...Read More »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "One of the measures of a very good vintage is how the year's affordable wines perform, and this one makes a very good case that 2013 in Napa Valley was a very fine harvest for Cabernet Sauvignon. It leads with a classic varietal nose of cassis, loamy soil and sweetening notes of toast, and its well-defined flavors follow suit with an impression of precision and fruity depth that is all too rare at the price. So, too, does it earn high marks for its fleshy mouthfeel and careful balance, and, while it is eminently enjoyable right now, it will age gracefull ...Read More »
The second label of Pali Wine Co., Tower 15 was inspired by the iconic lifeguard towers that dot the SoCal shoreline. Tower 15 is devoted to affordable wines from the Central Coast that are delicious right out of the gate. The Swell Bordeaux blend is dark and brooding, with notes of ripe plums, cherries, rosemary, and dark chocolate. It's the perfect match to a juicy cheeseburger at a beachside BBQ. Drink early and often!
Jancis Robinson: "Blackcurrant juice, chocolate and lots of new oak spice on the finish. Clay-textured tannin, smooth and fruity and balanced." (5/2015) K&L Notes: This'll be your go-to BBQ Cab. Fire up the grill! 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 tha... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
As Rutherford Ranch likes to highlight, the famous winemaker André Tchelistcheff notably stated, "It takes Rutherford dust to grow great Cabernet." The 2014 vintage sees fruit from the winery's Heide Ranch vineyard, and its blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 2% Zinfandel and 1% Malbec was aged for 12 months in both French and American oak barrels.
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.
About the producer: "RICKSHAW is sourced across California from sustainable vineyards, enabling us to source from diverse appellations and craft the highest quality wine at the price possible. The Chardonnay hails from cooler climate areas, but a touch of oak gives it a rich texture which brings the zippy acidity into natural balance. Pinot Noir is a classic expression of the grape, also hailing from cooler climates with that California kiss of juicy fruit. And finally, the Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a beefier texture with plush weight and full thro... 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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This screaming deal is majority varietal, with small amounts of Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It works deliciously, thick and concentrated in cherry, cranberry and a tease of orange peel, staying crisply intriguing and amazingly light bodied on the palate. This is well worth case-stocking in one's home. (VB)" (5/2016)
Production notes: "100% Cabernet Sauvignon, hand harvested October 14. Yeast fermentation and malolactic conversion was followed by 20 months in French oak barrels (67% new). 74 cases produced."
About the producer: "Since the inaugural vintage of our Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine almost a quarter century ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. Building on this foundation, Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyard... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Plum flesh, grapeseed and black-peppercorn aromas introduce this leaner, less-extracted style of wine. The palate shows deep cherry and plum juice with lots of peppery spice and decent tannic structure, and will probably intensify with a bit of patience. (MK)" (12/2015) K&L Notes: Producer Note: "This is us meditating a bit on the essence of California. For sure it’s a sunny place and that means ripeness (not over-ripeness) and an abundance of fruit. We also know that grace and girth are not mutually exclusive so we strive to make a red that embraces the generosity o... Read More »
From the winery: "Blended from premiere benchland vineyards, our Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is graceful yet profound and youthful yet polished. Inviting aromas of black cherry and blackberry fruit dusted with chocolate, along with dried herbs, cinnamon and vanilla. An elegant, juicy entry with flavors of berry cobbler followed by mocha and wood spice unite, layer by layer to form a finish that is rich with structured tannins." 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Verdot, 5% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Producer Note: "The 2013 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is showing exceptionally dark color with a bright hue at release. Intense fruit aromas of black cherry, plum and blueberry are accented by a barrel bouquet of hazelnut, dark chocolate and toasted pastry. Sturdy tannins strike the palate and finish with the hightoned fruit signature that typifies the Paso Robles appellation." -Steve Peck, red winemaker
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.