No need to spend the nest egg with this line-up of cabernet sauvignons.
With an eye to Auction Napa Valley, I wanted to offer a line-up of cabs with a palatable price tag.
Here’s a recap of this week’s blind tasting:
Louis M. Martini
Louis M. Martini, 2014 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.8.% alcohol, $20. ★★★★
At this price point, this cab is surprisingly good with impressive structure and generous fruit. The cab is weighted to black fruit, and is layered with black plum, herbs and toasty oak. It’s a smart buy. (By comparison, top tier cabs at Louis M. Martini are $145.)
Katherine Goldschmidt, 2014 Crazy Creek, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%, $20. ★★★★: What sets this apart is its elegance, remarkable at this price point. Supple texture. Bright acid. Ripe tannins. Black cherry finish. It’s a steal. (By comparison the highest-priced cabernets produced by Nick Goldschmidt are $150.)
Layer Cake, 2013 California Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.8%, $15. ★★★1/2: While the pinot noir is decidedly better, this cabernet is a good deal for those who fancy a fruit-forward quaff. One thing is certain: Layer Cake has great lineage. (Vintner/winemaker Jayson Woodbridge of Layer Cake also makes a cult cab called Hundred Acres that sells for $350.)
Columbia Crest, 2014 Horse Heaven Hills H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%, $12. ★★★★: This is an elegant cab with ripe tannins and a plush texture. It’s a touch earthy, with notes of black and red fruit, and a hint of cocoa. (By comparison Chateau Ste. Michele in Washington State, which owns Columbia Crest, sells its top red blend for $65.)
St. Francis, 2013 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.8%, $22. ★★★★: This is a cabernet that’s layered with notes of plum, blackberry and cedar. Lingering finish. It has a reputation for being dependable. You can count on it to be layered, which isn’t always the case at this price point. (By comparison St. Francis’ top cabernet sauvignon sells for $60.)
Sip away, without breaking the bank.