Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cabernets Sans Sticker Shock

California Cabs have always provided a certain "sticker shock," but these price levels seem even more out of bounds during America's ongoing economic malaise.

Silverado, Heitz, Conn Valley and Caymus produce wonderful Cabernet Sauvignons, but unless I discover oil in my backyard, I won't be able to drink them more than once in a while. So if you're looking for a more everyday-Cab, then there are some other options out there that won't destroy your household budget.

I have enjoyed drinking the fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon that is produced by Aquinas of Napa Valley. It won't knock your socks off or anything, but for the price, it's very hard to beat. FYI, here is what the writer at CheapWineRatings had to say about Aquinas. It's available online at Marketview Liquor.

Another excellent cheap Cabernet Sauvignon from California is Cellar No. 8. It has a fruit-forward style that is quite similar to Aquinas. You can buy the 2005 vintage of Cellar No. 8 for around $10. It may be available at the Whole Foods in your area; the one near me carries it.

One of my favorite Cabs at any price is Twenty Bench, which is also a Napa producer. The 2006 Twenty Bench retails for between $17 and $20 — maybe that doesn't qualify as "cheap," but it's a hell of a lot less expensive that many Cabs that don't offer as much depth. The 2005 Twenty Bench is selling for the low to mid-$20's.
So, there you have it. A pleasant Cab doesn't have to break your wallet.

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