It's no secret that California Cabernet Sauvignon can get pretty pricey pretty quickly. While higher price points by no means guarantee that you'll like the wine more than your favorite $20 Cab, if you hit it right and select Cabs that are truly worth the extra cash you'll stack the odds in your favor. So, here are eight Cabs that are worth the cash, year in and year out. They are consistent, quality-driven Cabs - meaning they spend money on new oak, select grapes from premium growers or grow themselves and have a winemaker that knows what it takes to make a Cab that you'll remember long after the last drop.
Big, dense, juicy raspberry-driven fruit laid along miles of well-maintained structure and loads of Cabernet character make this a top wine pick vintage in and vintage out. Delicious blackberry, dark cherry and red currant fruit lend both depth and concentration, warm spice is sprinkled throughout thanks to oak's ongoing influence, while well woven tannin is seamlessly integrated pitching in structural support and aging endurance. Enthusiastic acidity, brilliant balance, varietal integrity, and a finish that goes on and on are all hallmarks of this stunning Napa Valley Cab.
Shafer's 2007 One Point Five hails from Napa's prestigious Stags Leap District, known for producing well-integrated Cabs of intensity and opulence. Shafer's One Point Five embodies the Stags Leap reputation and then takes it up a notch to bring a wine with outstanding aromatic development, fresh black cherry and blackberry fruit mingled with mocha and earth. Dense, dark fruit supported by sound structure and ample tannins will take this Cab a good decade and beyond. A keeper for sure!
The 2006 Swanson "Alexis" Oakville Cab is a knockout Napa Valley Cab, packed with dark cherry fruit and the ripe, jammy flavors of currant and blackberry. Chocolate covered coffee beans, laced with the sweet notes of vanilla do double duty on the dark fruit profile. The tannin structure is well-integrated, but provides plenty of extension for further ageing.
A natural ambassador for the legendary titles of "Napa Cab," Swanson Vinyard's Alexis Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those "special wines," that you either buy or save for "special occasions" and would be a perfect fit for a fancy dinner driven by prime rib, beef tenderloin or roasted duck.
This Grgich Hills Cab has got plenty of power, yet boasts both beautiful balance and solid structure. On the palate, you can expect dark berry fruit, peppery spice, mesmerizing mocha notes and a full-blown finish.