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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points Wine Spectator: "Combines firm, dark fruit and chewy tannins with a measure of finesse and refinement. Ends with gripping, cedary tannins, bolstered by good length and depth. Drink now through 2024." (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This chewy, still-tight Cabernet is full-bodied on the palate, revealing savory, herbaceous characteristics. Made in a robust style, it’s approachable and enjoyable now." (4/2015)
A fantastic Cabernet value from the great 2013 vintage. This wine was made by Yountville's most famous property. We can say no more. Very elegant for the vintage with layers of ripe red berry fruit. Silky texture with tons of latent tannin. Serve with a rack of lamb after decanting for an hour
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 »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Red-ruby color. Vibrant aromas of cassis, black cherry, shoe polish and oak spice. Firm, focused dark berry flavors are supported by a solid spine of acids and tannins. Very unevolved but not hard or tart. Should age slowly and well." (6/1999) Wine Spectator: "Tight and firm, with a compact focus on the chunky currant, mineral, plum and blackberry flavors, it slowly unfolds to reveal more nuances. Should reward patience in the cellar. Made by Cathy Corison." (1/2000)
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 2010 Two Angels Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of how well a wine can drink with just a few years on it. The years allow the wine to soften, flesh out and display its complexity. And this wine is showing very well. The 2010 Two Angels Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma comes from vineyards at and near the top of the Mayacamas mountain range, which lies half in Sonoma County and half in Napa Valley. A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot, this wine has a unique flavor profile. The nose reveals notes of chocolate, vanilla, cherry and spice no... 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 »
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 »
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.
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
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 notes of mocha and cedar completing the nose. Flavors of blackberry and anise are lush and pronounced on the palate and are followed by hi... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine & Spirits: "**Featured in the Year's Best U.S Cabernet and Blends 2014 Issue** From a vineyard planted at 2,600 feet on the volcanic slopes above Clear Lake, this is a sophisticated cabernet, the fruit as deep and dark as blackberry juice, rich yet clean and spicy, laced with mountain aromas of pine straw and dry brush. Firm and almost formidable in structure, it opens into savory layers, lengthened by refreshing acidity." (12/2014)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Big and rich, this needs time or a great steak to bring out its best. The color is very dark to the rim. Aromas are closed but the flavor ...Read More »
"With medium-plus intensity, it’s a beautifully classic cabernet sauvignon mix of ripe blackcurrant, black and red cherries with vanilla, cedar, sweet tobacco, and licorice accents. Palate: Medium-plus body with dark fruit of cassis and black cherry on the entry. Barrel notes of vanilla and cedar with savory black tea and herbal notes come through on the mid-palate. The finish is long and clean with lingering bright cherry and spice of sassafras and licorice, surrounded by smooth firm to medium tannins. A traditionally styled cabernet sauvignon in all r... 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 »
A partnership between three Paso Robles families who jointly own Margarita Vineyard, the southernmost in the region, just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep and generous wine, with black fruits, toasty caramel and cedar notes and a rich, silky palate.
Joel Gott's 815 is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from some of the most important appellations across California. Napa fruit contributes complexity and depth, Lake County minerality and texture, Sonoma adds some spice, and Paso Robes and Lodi contribute texture, color, and development. The resulting blend captures a statewide snapshot of a fine vintage at an amazing value. From the winery: "The 2012 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromatics of roasted blue fruit, sweet blackberry and cherry cola with hints of graham cracker and vanilla. The wine ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Edge (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), is composed of grapes from various sources. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, lots of fruit, and a round, seductive style with good ripeness and a heady finish. Drink it over the next 6-8 years. (RP)" (10/2014)
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.
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 »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a pretty, supple wine with plenty of near-term appeal. Sweet herbs, red berries, flowers and leather meld together nicely in the glass. The 2012 is soft, supple and open. I expect the 2012 will offer its best drinking earlier rather than later. Drink 2014-2019. (Antonio Galloni)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: This classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. Founded in the 1960s by the legendary "father" of contemporary Napa Valley, Robert Mondavi Winery... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Connoisseurs Guide: "Juicy, young, mildly curranty fruit is played against touches of toasted herbs, vanilla and bit of cranberry pertness first in the nose and again in the flavors of this very steady, slightly frontal, yet consistently focused working, and, while it is never as deep or ambitious as the best of its cousins, it is a tasty, nicely made Cabernet that delivers lots of varietal bang for the buck." (8/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot and 4% Zinfandel) offe ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I think the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon will be even better, and it has more depth and texture, with gorgeous blackcurrants, violets, licorice and smoked earth all emerging from the glass. The texture here is really something, and this should be a smoking value. Made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec and Petit Verdot, it will have 10-12 years of longevity. (JD)" (8/2014)
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 »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sourced from all over the Napa Valley, this wine blends 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 1% Syrah and other unnamed red varieties. The effort works, resulting in a glass of concentrated red cherry, herb and spice, the tannins tight yet approachable enough for the wine to remain juicy." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Oberon sourced grapes for their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon bottling from select vineyards across the Napa Valley and within Napa County. Fruit from both volcanic hillside sites and alluvial valley sites in Rutherford, Oak Knoll, and Oberon's estate Oso Vineyard in the north... Read More »
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 2-3 years. Several 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 Vo... Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "Cherries and herbs are the dominant themes of this clean, slightly smaller-scaled, medium-bodied offering, and ripeness is always just a bit underplayed. Its proportional tannins provide a bit of Cabernet structure without being too much of a burden to the wine's modest fruit, and a brief stay in the cellar is all that it needs." (4/2014) K&L Notes: From Napa Valley's Duckhorn Vineyards, this is a Cabernet meant for early-drinking enjoyment. Comprised of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon with 6% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine was aged for 12 months in 100% French oak (35%... Read More »
This is a value-priced Cabernet that blends fruit from across the Napa Valley, resulting in a juicy, cherry and blackberry fruited wine with layers of toasty vanilla oak.
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)
Bench is one of the labels of Brack Mountain Wine Company, a winery devoted to hand-crafted wines at reasonable prices. The 2012 Cab is sourced from rocky, volcanic vineyards along the western side of the Mayacamas Mountains. Fog in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon helped make this a stellar vintage, with exceptional fruit and nuanced, balanced wines. From the winery: "Deep, dark purple in color, this wine offers aromas of violets, huckleberry and a touch of vanilla spice. The palate is elegantly wound with dusty tannins and a supple, velvet tex... Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is especially deep and powerful in this vintage. Smoke, game, incense, leather, pomegranate, spice and red cherries are some of the many notes that inform this striking Cabernet from Sonoma's Knights Valley, a fertile hunting ground for savory, mineral-driven wines full of character. This is a fabulous wine for the money, but with a production of 90,000 cases, winemaker Laurie Hook shows to achieve quality and value with scale, something that is much harder than it looks. This lineup from Beringer and winemaker ...Read More »
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 »
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. The Winemaker's Comments: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has great texture and structure with a medium mouthfeel. There are aromas of dark plum, cherry, cassis, warm barrel spice, vanilla and dark chocolate. In the glass there a... 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 winemakers: "Cane & Fable is a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones. Curt, owner and vintner of the heralded winery, Sans Liege, is known for his critically acclaimed, yet affordable wines. Andrew, winemaker of Field Recordings spends his days planning and planting vineyards and has stood foot in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. Together, they produce Cane & Fable, a collaboration that gives special attention to the craft and story behind each wine. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 7%, Tempran... Read More »
From the near-perfect 2012 vintage, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon-domianted blend that also includes 9% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. From the winery: "Dark cherry, clove, blackberry, and violets open up in the glass, followed by traces of tobacco. Hints of vanilla and cocoa dust add complexity to the rich aroma. Flavors: Smooth entry, with lively ripe, fresh berries followed by vanilla and cocoa flavors that fill the palate. Smooth and textural, with generous body and supple tannins. Very well balanced. The finish evokes dark ... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "Foxglove's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is without question one of the finest values in California. Dark red cherry, plum, grilled herbs, smoke and tobacco are some of the many notes that inform this vibrant, polished impeccable Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Paso Robles. Aging in steel keeps the flavors fresh and vibrant throughout." (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I was surprised by the herbacous notes in the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Foxglove, as I loved the 2011, and that’s a much cooler vintage. Nevertheless, this has plenty of earthy dark fruit, green herbs and tobacco leaf ...Read More »
From Terroir Napa Valley: "The 2012 Terroir Napa Valley Estate Cabernet is sourced from Gibbs Ranch in St. Helena, with four vineyards on Lodi Lane across from Duckhorn Winery and another four sharing a small valley with Beringer's Chabot Vineyard and Hundred Acre Vineyard. Cabernet grown in both vineyards is partially contracted to Hall Wines and Trinchero Estates. The vineyards are owned and farmed by the winemaker Craig Handly. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Malbec, the 2012 Terroir Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was aged en... Read More »
Just 87 cases of the Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon were produced in this 2011 vintage by Relyea-Wood. Their boutique winery sits on Montebello Road in Cupertino, where the gravity flow cellar sits adjacent to the estate vines overlooking Silicon Valley and not far from Ridge Vineyards. The 2011 growing season was fairly cool and the fruit was harvested in late October.
Wine Enthusiast: "An almost sweet, ripe fruit character makes this enticing to smell and easy to drink. Though full-bodied and packed with fine tannins, it has a soothingly rich texture. A syrupy oak and fruit flavor lingers on the finish." (2/2015) K&L Notes: From the Winery: "Intense ruby in color, this Cabernet features a redolent bouquet of cassis, blueberry, plum, vanilla bean, toffee, clove and a touch of tobacco. Delectable berry flavors are supported by refreshing acidity which runs through the mid-palate and melts into a long finish. Soft tannins provide a smooth texture, wit... 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 »
Angeline is made by Martin Ray Winery of Sonoma County, and the wines represent a great value. This Cabernet was sourced from North Coast, California vineyards, and is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon with 12% Petite Sirah--for a bit of a California-blend twist on the theme.
Eleve Skyscraper is a 75 case production of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a small parcel of Eaglepoint Ranch Vineyard in Mendocino.
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a delicious Cabernet for drinking now, although it may gain a note or two with a few years in the cellar. It’s dry and full-bodied, with flavors of black currants, cassis, anise, dark chocolate and smoky oak." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Twenty Bench is a project of Nine North Wine Company, which is dedicated to the production of fine-quality, "benchmark" Napa Cab and other wine for less than $20. ("Twenty Bench" refers to the original 20 ton lot, not $20!)
From the Winery; From a winemakers’ perspective, when you get fantastic fruit from a harvest like 2012, it’s important to let the grapes shine and to make sure we don’t screw it up. We also need to control our enthusiasm for the quality! Our 2012 Napa Cabernet strikes that wonderful balance of intense, dark fruit with sweet tannins and refined structure. A touch of new oak comes through on the nose with hints of vanilla, violets and warm spices. The wine is dark and rich with ripe blackcurrant, plum and dark cherry flavors, complemented by an elegant fin... Read More »