This list was published in the Wine Guy section of Gazette Colorado Springs
With these wines, expect quality at an attractive price:
- 2013 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley ($28). This is a perennial value with admirable complexity and refined tannins, enabling it to entice drinkers into early consumption but also tempt them to wait a few years and see how it develops.
- 2012 Murphy Goode Alexander Valley ($26). This 100 percent cab wine shows lush, soft fruit and texture with a balancing touch of oak.
- 2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Creek Valley ($25). From Hillside and Benchland vineyards, with dollops of petit verdot, malbec, merlot and cabernet franc, it's inviting right now but will improve for several years.
- 2012 Pedroncelli Block 007 ($25). Estate-grown 100 percent Dry Creek Valley cab delivers pleasant, tart red fruits offset with light herb and oak notes.
- 2013 Educated Guess Napa Valley ($20). Delightfully flavorful and approachable, it has lots of character and appeal for the money.
- 2012 Old Soul Lodi ($14). Surprisingly bold, spicy and assertive with just enough character for the grill.
Sweet spot of quality/value
More money spent on these wines is rewarded with high quality:
- 2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley ($50). This is a fabulous tribute to the craft of blending. It's only 75 percent cabernet with 17 percent merlot and drips of cabernet franc, petite verdot and malbec from five vineyards. Quintessentially Napa.
- 2012 Murphy-Goode Terra a Lago ($40). From a vineyard in the foothills of the Mayacamas Range, this 100 percent cab offers good complexity and structure with admirable ripeness.
- 2012 Clos du Val Napa Valley ($38). Known for exhibiting a French touch with Napa fruit, this meets expectations by balancing solid structure with a bright core of fruit.
- 2012 Jackson Estate Alexander Valley ($36). A fine example of Sonoma cab (with small percentages of merlot, malbec, cabernet franc and petit verdot), its higher-elevation fruit yields an intense yet balanced wine with enticing complexity.
- 2012 J. Lohr Hilltop ($35). A perennial favorite from Paso Robles, its lush red fruit melds nicely with savory notes.
These wines are for those special times when a special bottle is desired:
- 2012 Miner Stagecoach Vineyard ($75). From a highly regarded vineyard in the eastern hills of Atlas Peak in southern Napa Valley, this high-elevation fruit impresses with earthy character and firm structure.
- 2012 Duckhorn Napa Valley ($72). This company that made its name with merlot also produces top-quality cabernet sauvignon (and sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and blends). This one is typically highly structured and expected to be long lived.
- 2012 Cakebread Napa Valley ($65). Exemplary Napa cabernet with loads of fruit buttressed with solid structure; it will reward years of patience.
- 2013 Chappellet Signature"($60). Classic mountain-grown cab, including fruit from Chappellet's renowned Pritchard Hill, delivers on its reputation for power amid grace.
- 2012 Jackson Estate Hawkeye ($55). Another fine Kendall-Jackson high-elevation Alexander Valley wine that is deeply fruited, highly structured and lusciously textured.
- 2012 Jordan Alexander Valley ($55). Bordeaux is the model for this perennial restaurant favorite. The new vintage reveals more intensity than usual but is still expectedly seductive.
Tags: merlot cabernet verdot malbec napa california wine california cabernet