Our new year’s resolution is to continue looking for great values for money in wines from throughout the world, plus classic styles worth seeking out no matter what the vintage. In that mode, we went through our tasting notes and Tweets from the fourth quarter and pulled out some of our favorite Cabernet Sauvignon wines, including from France. The styles are mostly food-friendly, which we prefer over the high alcohol fruit bombs that are tough to match with anything but other fruit bombs. The notes do include references to those with higher alcohol, when it impacts the style of the wine.

Happy sipping in the new year and beyond!


  • Super value Cabernet ’12 Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills $10. Raspberry jam nose; mid-body; good tannins, character for price; long fruity finish. w/burgers.
  • Another Columbia Crest value, Merlot ’12 Horse Heaven Hills $11. Herbaceous, ripe grape, cocoa nose; mid-body; good Merlot flavor; fruity finish.
  • Chilean bargain Cabernet ’10 Las Huertas $13. Earthy, mint, varietal nose; mid-body; smooth tasty finish. w/pasta.
  • Quaffable picnic/party Merlot ’12 Coppola Director’s Cut Sonoma $14. Berry, mint, red fruit nose; mid-body; soft fruity finish.
  • Big So. Africa Cabernet Sauvignon ’11 Conviction $20. Herbaceous, mint, prunes nose (14.9% alc.); ripe, thick, chewy. w/game, BBQ ribs.
  • Value Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ’12 Ch. Ste Michelle Indian Wells $13. Mint, berry, ripe grape nose (14.5 alc.); chewy. w/beef.
  • Reliable value Napa Cabernet ’12 Beaulieu Vineyards $14. Herbaceous varietal nose; mid-body, semi-tight; fruity finish. w/beef.
  • BV Cabernet label
  • Smooth $14 Santa Barbara Cabernet ’12 Roblar. Berry, jam, Cab nose; mid-body; balanced; long fruity finish. w/pasta, beef, red sauces.
  • Easy sipping Sonoma Cabernet ’11 St. Francis $15. Mint, black fruit, jam, cassis nose; round, soft; food wine; berry finish. w/beef.
  • Well-aged Peruvian Cabernet ’07 Tabernero $20. Old world Cabernet nose; wood vats (?); mid-soft body; nice older Cab flavor. w/turkey.
  • Tasty $22 Wash. Cabernet Sauvignon ’12 Kiona. Big berry nose, herbaceous. Mid big body; good structure; long finish. Some style. w/beef.
  • Consistent Sonoma County Cabernet ’10 Arrowood $25. Big berry, ripe grape nose; chewy; berries, cocoa, wood. Hints of Merlot? w/veal chop.
  • Arrowood Cab 2010
  • Food friendly Washington Cabernet ’07 Boudreaux $35. Gamey, herbaceous nose; mid-soft body; some style; round finish. w/beef.
  • Tasty Cabernet-Zin blend ’10 Paraduxx $34. Berry, brambles, woody nose; complex mix of flavors; mid-viscosity; balanced finish. w/ribs.
  • Stylish Wash. Cab (67%) blend (20 Merlot, 10 CF, 3 Syrah) ’11 Col Solare $40. Deep Cab nose, wood; mid-body; long rich finish.
  • Rich, evolving Napa Cabernet ’11 Antica (Antinori) $44. Mint, cassis nose; big, chewy, tight, good acids; stylish finish.

From the Cellar

  • Prototypical Silver Oak Napa Cabernet ’08. Ripe grape, herbaceous nose; mid-body; tannic; a little hot; one-dimensional. w/beef.
  • Rich older Napa Cabernet ’06 Cosentino. Classic Napa nose; herbaceous; smoke/wood/mint; balanced, mid-body; stylish, complex, long finish.
  • Lush Alexander Valley Cabernet ’05 Lancaster Estate. Distinct Cab nose; chocolate, wood; balanced; good structure; long smooth finish. w/beef.
  • Nicely evolving ’01 Napa Cabernet Heitz Cellars. Light mint, herbaceous Napa nose; mid-body; balanced; long fruity finish. Life left.


  • Value Castillon ‘10 Ch. La Coste $13 (chateau bottled). Merlot, Cab Franc, light mint nose; good acid/tannins; fruity finish. w/beef.
  • Quality $15 Haut Medoc ’11 Mascard. Chateau bottled. Fruity Merlot/Cabernet nose; berries; wood; mid-body; balanced style; long finish.
  •  Haut Medoc wine under $25 aging well ’07 Ch. Bernadotte. Earthy, old world nose; Cabernet; good structure; mid-tannins; long fruity finish.
  • ’00 Bordeaux Haut-Medoc Ch. Citran. Older Cabernet-Merlot nose; earth, mint; mid-body; balanced; still tight; can keep evolving. w/beef.
  • Cellar delight ’00 Les Forts de Latour. Earthy, cedar, tobacco, mineral Pauillac nose; mid-body; tannin-acid balance; long complex finish.