Retailer Wine Selections

For this issue, we asked members of the Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel to recommend their favorite Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet-based blends. As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’€™s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). If you’€™re a retail beverage professional who would like to learn about participating in our panel, call Richard Brandes at 212-353-3832, or email him at rbrandes@m2media360.com .

FIVE STARS

(96) Paridigm Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). One of the truly hidden gems from the Napa Valley; round, sumptuous, with loads complexity; perfectly balanced with good fruit (cherry, blackberry) and notes of mocha and licorice; the acidity and structure make this a great wine to cellar for years or decant and serve with a hearty meal. ($51)

(95) Fourteen Appellations 2007 (California). Sourcing fruit from 14 of the most prestigious vineyards in Napa Valley, Fourteen is the compilation of one amazing idea from four pioneers in the Napa Valley; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, with each playing its part to bring forth a wine full of boldness and originality. ($70)

(95) J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Sourced from Diamond Mountain in Napa; Big, lush, rich with loads of extraction; really tasty; should age nicely. ($90)

(95) Little Stone Vineyard Adrian’€™s Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). Sourced from several top Napa vineyards and aged in French oak; 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; lovely aromas of lilac and blackberry; on the palate, ripe, lush flavors of blackberry, plum, and cherry meld with a hint of vanillin; supple tannins linger on the finish, balancing the wine. ($20)

(94) Freemark Abbey Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Rich and balanced with several tiers of dark currant, black cherry, black raspberry and cassis flavors; the full mid-palate offers spice and cocoa that carries through the long, lingering finish and fine tannins; delightful. ($35)

(94) Cliff Lede Stag’€™s Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Lovely oak undertones meld with mocha, toffee, coffee and black currant aromas; medium full and quite expansive on the palate, but maintains pinpoint precision to the unfolding fruit flavors, with red cherry, blueberry and cassis tinted by semi-sweet chocolate; everything is quite deftly balanced. ($63)

(94) Vina Cobos Bramare Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Argentina). Elegant and mouth-filling red with fruit, touch of vanilla and toasty oak; unfined/unfiltered. ($38)

(93) Gallo Signature Series Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Big, intense berry fruit with overripe notes of black cherry; the big structure of tannin protect this velvet bomb; give this Cabernet proper aeration and enjoy. ($34)

(93) Hess Collection Mount Veeder/ Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). Black currants and floral notes on the nose; very well balanced and bold; a great Bordeaux blend from California. ($45)

(93) Anticipation Napa Red Wine 2010 (California). This just-released Napa blend offers richness and great depth along with tremendous fruit flavors; concentrated black cherry, plum, blackberry and cassis immediately burst onto the palate followed by the perfect balance of oak and tannins on the long finish. ($29)

(93) Ca’€™Momi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Fragrances of wild flower, blueberry, and cassis lead to a delightful palate of rich, ripe, black fruit flavors with hints of mocha; soft, supple tannins round out the wine on the long, slightly tart finish; simply delicious and easy to enjoy. ($20)

(93) Torres Gran Coronas Reserva-DO 2006 (Penedes, Spain). Made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Tempranillo; elegant and beautifully balanced with aromas and flavors of plum, cassis, coffee, and oak; velvety smooth on the palate with soft tannins and a hint of terroir on the finish. ($20)

(93) William Hill Estate Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Black fruit on the nose is accented with spice and hints of coffee; the palate shows power and richness, with a long and balanced finish; drink some now, but set a couple of bottles aside for an added treat. ($40)

(93) Justin Vineyards Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). The warmth of the Paso Robles region is evident here, with plenty of dark color and rich fruit; the wine delivers lots of elegance along with the power underneath; immediately satisfying, and will improve with aging. ($25)

(92) Ch. Dufort-Vivens Margaux Bordeaux 2009 (France). From one of the top properties, in one of the most famous wine appellations on the planet, this wine ably demonstrates why Bordeaux is so widely respected for the benchmark quality wines produced here; elegance abounds on the nose and palate; decanting will be rewarded, as will setting a few bottles aside for enjoyment in the future. ($40)

(92) Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). As always, the master Napa Valley winery delivers the goods; with Old World elegance, and New World richness, this wine delivers plenty; the finish is long, allowing the bright dark fruit to complement any number of dishes. ($28)

(92) Montgras Winery Colchagua Valley Quatro Blend 2010 (Chile). Lots of ripe red and black fruit on the nose are echoed by the palate; the blend adds levels of complexity, contributing to the balance; the finish is long and satisfying; wonderful value. ($15)

(92) Lyeth Chronology Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). This Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon offers a nice elegant balance of fruit, acidity and tannins; flavors of blackberry, cherry, and plum are evident with a smooth mid palate that gives way to a touch of spice and oak on a well-balanced finish. ($35)

(92) Kiona Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Washington State). Structured and layered with rich flavors of dark ripe fruit, a touch of earthy undertones, oak, and brilliant acidity; drinking beautifully now; made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Sangiovese. ($16)

(92) Hollywood & Vine Short Ends Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Cherry aroma; cherry, cassis and clove taste; substantial tannins and a nice long finish. ($34)

(92) Titus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). The combination of an easy to love vintage in Napa along with the grape growing and winemaking skills of the Titus brothers makes this a standout; classic Napa Cab with rich toasty oak, and flavors of black cherry, berry and violet; soft and elegant. ($35)

(92) Tuck Beckstoffer Amulet Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Big, rich and very correct for Napa Valley; layered, dark fruit, mocha and oak notes; well structured, with polished tannins. ($30)

(92) Chateau Poujeaux Moulis Cru Bourgeois 2009 (France). A terrific example from the newly released and heralded 2009 vintage, this Bordeaux is half Cabernet Sauvignon and has a high percentage of Merlot; it already displays some of the fleshy quality that many of the great Grand Cru Classe do; the fruit- red and black fruits- are very ripe and the wine drinks with good balance; tannins at this point are very easy and soft. ($35)

FOUR STARS

(91) Stag’€™s Leap Wine Cellar Artemis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). Fruity nose; cherry and clove flavors with a hint of mint; medium tannins and a long, satisfying finish. ($54)

(91) Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Juicy and up front with ripe red fruits, hints of tobacco, and dusty tannins; good length on the finish with the tannins becoming a bit more noticeable. ($17)

(91) Joseph Carr Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). The bouquet is subtle but classically Cabernet, with a light edge of oak and cream; smooth and supple, the palate builds in intensity and depth, with a nice mix of black cherry, cassis, licorice and herb flavors; good balance. ($23)

(91) Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Powerful dark berry aromas complement the flavors of leather tobacco and spicy plumb; velvety mouthfeel gives way to a long jammy finish. ($16)

(91) Chateau Barbe Blanche Lussac-Saint-Emilion 2009 (France). Crushed blueberry and black cherry on the nose; full-bodied, black fruit, plum, impressive firm lively palate with a well balanced acidity which is backed by chewy tannins and oak nuances; rich fruit finish with complexity and very good concentration for this appellation. ($30)

(91) Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California). This 100% Cabernet Sauviginon from the Napa Valley is seamless with just the right balance of oak, fruit, and spice; a great wine for those collectors and general Cabernet lovers alike. ($54)

(91) Santo Stefano Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). A balancing of dark berry fruits and hints of roasted coffee beans on the nose; good dose of vanilla oak that does not mask the cherry and berry nuances; nice earthy characteristics too; evolves in the glass. ($25)

(91) Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Intense fruit, a touch of minerality; full bodied and well balanced; 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles. ($19)

(91) Olema Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Dark ruby color in the glass; pleasant notes of cherry, berry fruits with hints of cedar and cocoa; nice herbal notes layered in; soft tannins on the finish. ($20)

(91) Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Fairly massive wine from Eastern Napa; concentrated dark berries laced with tobacco and spice; long, lingering finish. ($39)

(91) Andeluna Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Argentina). Aroma of pepper and ripe red fruit; well balanced and full bodied with hints of chocolate and light oak. ($15)

(91) Artesa Winery Elements Napa/Sonoma Counties Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). Using different appellations to add to the complexity and balance of the wine, Napa’€™s power is counterbalanced by Sonoma elegance; black fruit, chocolate, and spice on the nose are followed by plenty of dark fruit and power on the palate; reasonably priced, it’€™s a wonderful example of North Coast winemaking. ($20)

(91) Principe Corsini Maremma Birillo Blend Tuscany 2008 (Italy). A Tuscan blend of Cabernet and Merlot, the Birillo shines with red fruit and spice on the nose; the palate is a balanced combination of red fruit and spice; the finish goes on and on. ($24)

(90) Dusted Valley Vintners Boomtown Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Washington State). From one of Walla Walla’€™s best producers, this wine is accessible and eminently enjoyable; the fruit is evident, highlighted by spice and toast; the rich palate is balanced by tannins and acidity in the right proportions. ($16)

(90) Daglia Canyon Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (California). Core of ripe plum and black cherry, currant and spice; good body; ends with mild tannins and structure; complex and hearty for the price point. ($18)

(90) Alterra Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (California). A core of ripe, rich currant and black cherry flavors; finishes with supple integrated tannins; a wonderful value. ($15)

(90) Dry Creek Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). The bouquet is a bit restrained but it does show some spicy zest over its core of ripe black fruit; dry edges frame the palate and a ripe core of red currant and black cherry roll through the middle, with the tannin kicking in late to brace things. ($20)

(90) Flora Springs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). Some green veggie notes pop out of the bouquet at first and then the oak moves in to round things out, followed by ripe currant and red raspberry aromas; medium-full, round and even a bit plush feeling; red and black currant flavors rule the palate and it maintains good balance throughout. ($37)

(90) Edge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Smooth, dry, medium bodied with classic black fruit aromas and flavors, soft tannins; great price for a Napa Cab. ($20)

(90) Joel Gott Relative Red 2009 (California). Delightful blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah: fruit, spice, smoke, light tannins, juicy; easy to enjoy as an affordable table red for everyday meals. ($13)

(90) Chateau Macard Bordeaux Superior 2009 (France). Blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet and Merlot; lots of bright, inviting aromas and black fruit; smooth with a whisper of oak; good Bordeaux value. ($15)

(90) Red Knot McLaren Vale Cabernet Suavignon 2010 (Australia). Great value McLaren Vale Cabernet; luscious fruit with subtle hints of oak on the finish. ($14)

(90) Rupert and Rothschild Classique 2009 (South Africa). A collaboration between Anthonij Rupert and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, this is blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; black and red berry fruit are highlighted on the nose with the palate perfectly balanced with bright acidity, tannin, and a subtle layer of spicy complexity; the South African character shines through. ($18)

(90) Fleur De Lyeth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec 2010 (California). Opens up initially with fruit forward flavors of cassis, cherry, and ripe plum; the finish is long and enticing with just a touch of cedar; food friendly and versatile. ($11)

(89) Finca El Reposo Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Argentina). Exotic wood spice notes open the bouquet and then some savory accents move in; medium bodied, there is good acidity making for a bracing wine, but the aftertaste is quite fruity and elegant. ($10)

(89) Liberty School Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). A fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of dark cherry, plum and a hint of mint; the balanced acidity and tannin surround rich berry fruit and a savory finish; a good value. ($14)

(89) Sottano Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Argentina). Rich nose full of pie cherry and baked plum; full bodied and mature with all elements integrated nicely; cherry, plum and an undertone of licorice carry through a nice long finish; good bargain. ($14)

(89) Desert Wind Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Washington State). Deep ruby color with rich black fruit on the nose; fruit forward, black cherry core, but dry, with a distinct stony minerality and pleasantly silky body. ($18)

(89) First Drop Mother’€™s Ruin Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Australia). Compact dark fruit nose; richly textured wine that almost coats the palate; some red currant followed by cherry and black fruits; this Mclaren Vale cab is rich, yet lively, with a moderately long finish of black cherry. ($19)

(89) Chateau Rauzan-Gassies Margaux 2004 (France). A very nicely balanced palate with soft structure and a bit of minerality on the finish; mostly dark fruit after a slight red fruit attack.; a medium weight drink-now Bordeaux and versatile food wine. ($60)

(89) Bluebird North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California). Lovely cocktail Cab from the Red Hills AVA; bright red fruit mingles with dark berries for a very wide spectrum of fruit; easy drinking. ($15)

(88) Clos Du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Cherry nose; flavors of cherry and blackberry with some pepper; medium tannins and a medium finish. ($30)

(88) Gumdale Cabernet Sauvignon NV (Australia). Ripe and fresh berry fruits, with integrated notes of vanilla oak; soft tannins to make this an easy drinking wine; good everyday value. ($8)

(88) Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 55 (California). Ripe and rounded, this easy-drinking wine is quite complex with a very soft landing. ($12)

(88) Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz/Cabernet 2009 (Australia). It opens with a medley of flavors; a touch of spice and a long dry finish. ($12)

(87) Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). A smooth and easy drinking Cabernet with lots of soft berry flavors and a little bright plum on the mid palate; the tannin and acidity are light, making this wine great for a lot of palates. ($12)

(87) The Rule Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California). Fruity nose; taste of cherry, blackberry, pepper and oak; medium tannins and a medium finish; a good buy. ($18)

(87) Ringside Vineyards California Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (California). The light bouquet has a whiff of tar that quickly melds into some savory spice notes overlying mild fruit aromas; zippy in its fruitiness, it has an almost Zinfandel-like quality as its fruit is all red berries that are fresh and lively; good balance and is very light with its acidity. ($8)

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