2011 Cabernet Shootout Results by Category

2011 Cabernet Shootout Results
The Challenges

There were two major challenges in the Bay Area on the weekend of January 21st – 22nd 2012. The Niners vs The Giants at Candlestick and The Cabernet Shootout Challenge at The Winery SF on Treasure Island.

You’re undoubtedly familiar with the NFC Championship game.

The Cabernet Shootout Challenge had a better outcome if you’re a Bay Area fan.

Both were incredibly exciting. 49ers fans are both saddened and proud. Sad that the season has come to an end but very proud of the brilliant season orchestrated by rookie head coach, Jim Harbaugh.

In the NFC Championship, there could only be one winner. Not so at The Cabernet Shootout Challenge.

The Cabernet Shootout has numerous winners and you can pick your favorites to enjoy again and again.

The Cabernet Shootout Challenge, attended by 335 Cabernet enthusiasts – consumers, press and trade, was a remarkable event hosted by the Bay Area Wine Society in partnership with Affairs of the Vine at The Winery SF on Treasure Island on Saturday, January 21st. One Brick was amazing in making the entire event run smoothly.

Winemakers, proprietors, and winery personnel shared their outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons, Cabernet Francs, and Cabernet Blends. Other wines produced by the wineries were also available to taste at their stations. A fantastic array of tasty hors d’oeuvre were served. My personal favorites were the incredible pates from Les Trois Petits Cochons.

Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of red wines, is grown in nearly every wine producing region in the world. The Cabernet Shootout judging panel consisting of 25 men and 16 women had the pleasure of tasting 287 Cabernets from 56 different appellations. Read their comments and scores. Men Women

Make sure to check out the judging panels “Bang for Your Buck Wines” too, wines selling for under $20 that received 85 points or more. There’s a bunch of them!

An extraordinary array of palates gathered to assess some of the top rated wines from the Cabernet Shootout. “This distinctly different format,” noted Tom Merle, President of the Bay Area Wine Society, “provided a unique opportunity for people who buy the wine to challenge the tastes of the wine experts.”

The Cabernet Challenge consisted of just 32 of winning wines from The Cabernet Shootout. These wines were randomly divided into two flights of 16 wines each (Life Is A Cabernet and Celestial Cabernets). The Cabernet Shootout Challenge attendees were asked to focus on one just of the flights. The wines were divided randomly, wrapped in aluminum foil, and identified with color stickers.

192 of the wine lovers participated in the Cabernet Shootout and cast their votes using chips that were gender specific.

Instructions to the Cabernet Shootout Challenge Wine Lovers Judging Panel
Professional wine tasters consider the following: Clarity/Appearance, Color, Aroma/Bouquet, Acidity, Sweetness, Body/Texture, Taste/Flavor, Bitterness, Astringency, Finish, Overall Quality.

All that really matters is what you like.

The wine lovers made notes and then cast their votes by putting chips in the ballot boxes of their favorite wines. The chips were gender specific.

Life Is A Cabernet (Red Ballot Boxes) – The Consumer Judging panel of this flight consisted of 53 women and 46 men, a total of 99 judges.

BEIGE Martin Ray Winery 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Mountain

BLUE Scherrer Winery 2004 Scherrer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

BRONZE Christopher Creek 2007 Finlays Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek

BURGUNDY Serene Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

DARK BLUE Lucas & Lewellen 2008 COTE DEL SOL Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara County

DUSTY ROSE JuneRay Wines 2008 Ashlow Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

GREEN Castello di Amorosa ll Barone 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

GUNMETAL En Garde 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District Napa Valley

HOT PINK Bonneau 2007 Hyde Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros

KHAKI Bogle 2007 Reserve Old River Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Clarksburg

LILAC Hahn Winery 2009 Meritage, Central Coast

LIGHT YELLOW Sol Rouge 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County

MAGENTA Perrucci Family Vineyard 2006 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mtns

PUMPKIN Indigene Cellars 2007 Philanthropist Cabernet Blend, Central Coast

PURPLE Field Stone 2007 Staten Family Res, Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

RED Stella Monsi 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain


Celestial Cabernets (White Ballot Boxes) – The Consumer Judging panel of this flight consisted of 50 women and 43 men, a total of 93 judges.

AQUA MARINE Firefly Night 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

BLACK CYRUS 2007 Estate Cabernet Blend, Alexander Valley

BRICK Dusinberre 2004 Boodeaux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

DARK RED For Giving 2008 Godspeed Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt. Veeder

DEEP PURPLE Roy J Maier ‘07 Saint Helena Road Vyds Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County

GOLD Penman Springs Vineyard 2007 Penman Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles

GRAY Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate Caton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley

LIGHT BLUE VGS 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

LIME GREEN Boete 2006 Cheval Rouge Saunders Vineyard Cabernet Blend, Carmel Valley

ORANGE Smith & Hook 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast

ORCHID Prestwood Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

PINK Bellarina 2008 Meritage Cabernet Blend, Knights Valley

TAN VJB Vineyards & Cellars 2008 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley

TURQUOISE Meadowcroft Wines 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt Veeder, Napa Valley

WHITE Blue Rock 2009 Baby Blue ~ Blue Rock Vineyard Cabernet Blend, Alexander Valley

YELLOW McGrail Vineyards 2008 Reserve McGrail Vyds Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

Our panel is very fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to taste these wonderful wines and we are very cognizant of the fact that our conclusions matter and have impact, so we take our responsibility very seriously.

Affairs of the Vine’s Shootouts are the only competition in which the judges’ conclusions are put to the test by an unbiased panel of wine lovers.

The comments on the wines at The Cabernet Shootout Challenge were amazing and the discussions engaging but in the end each person voted their own palate. All of the wines were winners, all receiving many, many votes.

The Cabernet Shootout Challenge attendees agreed with the panel…the wines tasted were fantastic!

And now…the findings!

Two wines tied for 1st place by the Male Cabernet Shootout Judging Panel/ (we were fortunate enough to have them both available in the blind tasting.)

CYRUS 2007 Estate Cabernet Blend, Alexander Valley, $60.00

AND

En Garde 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon< Diamond Mountain District – Napa Valley, $88.00

Four wines tied for 1st place by the Female Cabernet Shootout Judging Panel. We were lucky enough to have three of the four available to taste in the Cabernet Shootout Challenge. Miner Family is sold out of the 2007 The Oracle.

For Giving 2008 Godspeed Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt. Veeder, $90.00

AND

Miner Family Winery 2007 The Oracle Cabernet Blend, Napa Valley, $90.00

AND

Serene Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $54.00

AND

VGS 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $75.00

Life Is A Cabernet flight

Male Cabernet Lovers

1st Place CYRUS 2007 Estate Cabernet Blend, Alexander Valley, $60.00

Very heavily favored also were:

Roy J Maier 2007 Saint Helena Road Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, $60.00

Boete 2006 Cheval Rouge Saunders Vineyard Cabernet Blend, Carmel Valley, $30.00

McGrail 2008 Reserve McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley, $36.00

Female Cabernet Lovers

1st Place McGrail 2008 Reserve McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley, $36.00

Other favorites:

Blue Rock 2009 Baby Blue ~ Blue Rock Vineyard Cabernet Blend. Alexander Valley, $25.00

Prestwood Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, $79.00

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate Caton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, $44.00

Celestial Cabernets flight

Male & Female Cabernet Lovers agreed. (Wow! Is that unusual or what?)

1st Place for both Male & Female
Indigene Cellars 2007 Philanthropist Cabernet Blend, Central Coast, $21.00

Other Male Cabernet Favorites:

Bonneau 2007 Hyde Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, $60.00

Lucas & Lewellen 2008 COTE DEL SOL Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara County, $32.00

Other Female Cabernet Lovers Favorites:

Bonneau 2007 Hyde Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, $60.00

Castello di Amorosa 2008 Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $88.00

En Garde 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District – Napa Valley, $88.00

Field Stone Winery 2007 Staten Family Reserve, Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, $40.00

Lucas & Lewellen 2008 COTE DEL SOL Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara County, $32.00

Perrucci Family Vineyard 2006 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains, $75.00

Look for these wines at your local fine wine retailer or online. Share them with friends and those you love. They are all well worth seeking out and tasting.

Taste and enjoy them all if you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity. Keep buying your old favorites but try new ones too. When you find a style you like, try other wines that are similar. Do you like this wine as much? See if you can determine the similarities in the wines you like best. Is it appellation? Winemaking style? Winemaker?

If you have difficulty finding them at your local retailer, feel free to email Affairs of the Vine. We will be happy to put you in touch with someone at the winery who can help you acquire the wines that entice you.

So what do these wines have in common? Everyone one of these wines is outstanding!

Our Mantra…Trust Your Own Palate

Read reviews but remember it’s your palate that counts. Try to find a wine critic who commends wines that you like. Don’t feel that you have to like the wines that wine critics praise. Don’t be intimidated! If a movie reviewer gives 5 stars to a film, do you feel that you’re unsophisticated if you don’t like it too? Wine is no different. Personal preference is what counts. So drink and enjoy what you like. At Affairs of the Vine we say, “If you like the way it looks and you like the way it smells and you like the way it tastes…its good wine. So use our recommendations as a guide but you are the authority of what provides “Love at First Sip” for you.

 

2011 Cabernet Shootout Results
Scores: Women Judges
Scores: Women Judges Bang for Your Buck
Scores: Men Judges
Scores: Men Judges Bang for Your Buck

Cabernet SauvignonCabernet FrancCabernet Blend and MeritageOther

Cabernet Sauvignon

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $21.99
60000 cases produced
Female: Eucalyptus and mint on the nose with lovely raspberry and blackberry aromas step up as the wine opens. Raspberry and dusty blackberry flavors are enhanced by Cocoa notes. Solid and satisfying tannins. Well built. “An armoire with all the right drawers and cubbyholes.” Huge potential! 90
Male: Lovely cherries on the nose at first, and then it blossoms with blackberry pie, sage, allspice, and white pepper. All carry forth onto the palate. Good acid and balance. A hint of tobacco on the finish that shows softly integrated tannins. 88

Amapola Creek 2007 Amapola Creek Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $60.00
1150 cases produced
Female: Great aromas arises from the glass showing black currant, chocolate, and coffee. The palate is fruit forward with both black and red fruit. There is white pepper on the long finish. 88
Male: Garnet-brick in color. Good solid core of fruit with decorative accents. Mouthfeel is ample, cool, and rich. The structure is superb and focuses around graphite, cassis, and cedar. The acid and tannins are a bit harsh at present, but will soften with time; this appears to be a very youthful wine. 89
Amaro Winery 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
New Mexico, $18.00
1750 cases produced
Female: Sweet tobacco, dried cherry, and ripe apples arise from the glass -”Inviting like a fall orchard.” Tastes completely different than it smells. The palate displays a leaner profile – rhubarb flavors with quite a lot of currant, menthol, cigar, licorice, and basil some nutmeg on the finish too. Nicely balanced. “I found out after the blind tasting that this is a wine from New Mexico. Pretty darn impressive!” 89
Male: Forward cherry and berry nose with earthy notes and a floral blast late. Soft on the palate showing layers of cassis, earth, cedar, tea, and leather. A bit tart on the mid-palate. The finish is long, complex, and balanced with tart notes hanging in. “New Mexico? Wow!” 88
Annabella 2009 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $16.00
20000 cases produced
Female: Dark and delicious with dark berry aromas and dark espresso on entry. Black fruit, some red fruit joins mid-palate and then lots of oak. Needs time! 87
Male: Standard Cabernet flavors of blackberry, oak, and leather. Simple. 86
Aresti 2008 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Curico Valley, Chile, $15.00
1500 cases produced
Female: Light red fruit with vanilla and earth notes. Cherry and black cherry on entry turning to sour cherry notes on the finish. Will shine with food, especially a grilled pork loin. 85
Male: Cranberry and eucalyptus combined with earth for an Old World aromatic. Bright cherry and raspberry fruit combined with soft vanilla to create an attractive palate that finishes with soft tannins and well-proportioned acidity. Enjoy with grilled beef to finish the experience. 86
AuburnJames 2008 Block 4 Bella Vista Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $75.00
150 cases produced
Female: Pure nose of cedar and cigar box and leather – “The Stetson cologne Cabernet.” Spicy red fruit flavors. Lots of spice up front, then sour cherry notes. Lovely! 90
Male: Toast, brown sugar, raspberry, red currant, wet autumn leaves…layered with hints cedar in the glass. Black cherry and vanilla on the palate. Everything is proportional in the right place. Balanced and complex. 92
August Ridge 2007 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $48.00
48 cases produced
Female: Lots of barnyard aromas here with dark cherry fruit on entry turning to sour cherry on the mid-palate. Lots of oak and acid mid-to-late. 85
Male: Bright red fruit, Santa Rosa plums, dark cherries, and mint in the glass and in the mouth. A big wine with structured tannins. 87
Aurielle 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain, $90.00
350 cases produced
Female: Notes of leather, Cassis, lavender, tobacco. (I like the nose.) Palate is pleasing with spicy, the, tannins and fruit. Notes of cloves, nutmeg, and dried fruit. 88
Male: Aromatics show black currant, herbs (dill), and other oak elements. Black cherry cola in the mail. Complex and well integrated. 87
Avalon 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $18.00
10000 cases produced
Female: Very pleasant Cabernet. Light red fruit on the nose and in the mouth, turning to sour cherry with watermelon notes mid-palate. Black tea and earthy on the finish. Nice acidity. 87
Male: Restrained aromatics with hints of vanilla and spice coming through. Soft deft fruit and oak. Nice Cabernet. 86
Avalon 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $12.00
50000 cases produced
Female: A touch of pickled barrel on the nose. Red fruit throughout. Well may, simple, and easy to drink. 86
Male: Subtle aromatics of violets and oak. Dark fruit flavors on opening. Good balance of cassis, oak, and coffee on the velvety smooth finish. 88
B.R. Cohn 2007 Estate Olive Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $55.00
4100 cases produced
Female: Cherry cola, black tea, and a myriad and of other oak driven aromas. Enormous tannins on the palate but the fruit is there. “Seems like this is just a baby that needs time to mature.” 87
Male: This is a big wine all around wine. The tannins mask the fruit. “I’d like to lay some down and try it a year or two.” 86
B.R. Cohn 2007 Special Selection Olive Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $100.00
400 cases produced
Female: Alluring aromas of cedar, and allspice joined by bayberry candle and bright cherry. The nose just keeps on giving and opens to aromas reminiscent of blackberry and baked fig squares with walnut streusel topping. Dense and chewy in the mouth. “A big overstuffed chair. Be careful this wine will draw you in!” 92
Male: Deep crimson in color. The nose has cherries, plum, leather, and spicy menthol. Good opening carrying the aromas onto the palate. Nice balance. Well integrated. Smooth and creamy middle. Succulent finish. Good depth and grip. “Nicely done!” 91
Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $6.99
30000 cases produced
Female: Black cherry lips from the glass. Smells lush and is on the palate. Black tea notes with full on tannins. “Fun to drink… burger, please.” 87
Male: Rose petal and rhubarb aromas. Soft middle showing black fruit. Delicious. 88
Boete 2005 Estate Saunders Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Carmel Valley, $36.00
500 cases produced
Female: Red berry nose with rose petal and subtle oak accents. Full on cherry flavors. Ripe but not overly lush. Sour cherry mid-palate and lots of mouthwatering acid. Great with red sauce or a burger. A nice quaffer. 90
Male: “The nose reminds me of and Neapolitan pizza with spicy meats baked in a brick oven.” The palate shows nice acid, soft tannins, with a subtle blackberry note. Well-made. 89
Bogle 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $11.00
220000 cases produced
Female: Dried cherry and black cherry fruit on the nose. Cherry, black cherry and some lovely sour cherry in the mouth. Nice acidity with black tea on the finish. 87
Male: Bright and well defined, cherry and raspberry aromatics create a very inviting experience before tasting. Cassis and spice define the palate with the addition of some light red cherry notes. Easy to drink. Easy to enjoy 88
Bogle 2007 Reserve Old River Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Clarksburg, $20.00
900 cases produced
Female: Cedar aromas dominate the nose. The fresh and clean entry is very pleasing displaying cherry and raspberry flavors with a sprinkling of black pepper on the palate. Round and lush on the finish. 90
Male: Smoky black mushroom and black currant aromas waft from the glass. The mouth feel is just right showing plum, cassis, and truffle with toasty oak accents. Integrated tannins. Nice finish. 91
Bonneau 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $42.00
350 cases produced
Female: Cooked me almost a stew like aroma. I like this! Red cherry, then sour cherry with rosemary and black tea spice notes on the finish. Pretty tannins. Serve with chili or beef stew. 89
Male: Candied red apple, red cherry, and black currant aromas and flavors. Lively tannin. Youthful and vibrant. Easy drinking. 88
Bonneau 2007 Hyde Cabernet Sauvignon
Los Carneros, $60.00
200 cases produced
Female: Alluring pepper, black tea, and black cherry aromas arise from the glass. The wine is nicely balanced and shows great intensity. Black cherry is replicated on the palate with black pepper, cocoa, and leather accents. Great tannin structure. This is a seductive wine with many hidden secrets. Beautiful! 92
Male: The lovely floral berry nose opens to wine of good depth and grip. Lush in the middle with blackberry, plum, and rhubarb fruit that is strongly accented by oak elements. Full-bodied with a nice persistent finish. 90
Briar Rose 2007 Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
Temecula Valley, $105.00
160 cases produced
Female: Oak, cherry, and mint aromas replicate on the palate with sweet cocoa on the lasting finish. 86
Male: Peppermint and gingerbread aromas arise from the glass. “Yes! Christmas cookies. Wow!”
Supple mouth feel. Cedar and oak are apparent but smooth with raspberry jam flavors. 88
Buttonwood Farm 2007 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Ynez Valley, $24.00
300 cases produced
Female: The nose is slightly earthy with leather, cassis, and cigar box notes – interesting and complex. Dark Berry and plum are very forward on the palate with herbal notes enhancing your enjoyment. The rich coffee notes on the lingering finish. 88
Male: Smells like Cabernet – beefy with black currant and forest floor notes. The palate reflects the aromatics. A well-made wine with integrated tannins 87
Calistoga Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
St Helena, $30.00
2500 cases produced
Female: Exotic aromas showing rose, violet, and cherry. The nose is somewhat deceiving – more like a Pinot Noir that Cabernet Sauvignon but the color in the glass definitely says Cabernet. Strawberry and black plum flavors with a chalky minerality. Nice finish. 87
Male: Sweet vanilla and cola presence on the nose with a subtle fruit under tone. Wow! An explosion of red currants, pomegranate, and olallie berry with big acidity! Good dose of new oak but fruit and acidity can carry. Lots of plum and tobacco on the palate. Good finish. 91
Callaway 2009 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Temecula, $28
635 cases produced
Female: Mint and black cherry on the nose opening to dark black fruit in the mouth. Lots of oak joins mid- to late but should age nicely. 87
Male: Very pleasant nose a floral notes. Nice rich entry layers showing of cassis, cedar, and menthol. Focused and palate with deep dark fruit and balancing acidity. Big tannins on nice finish. Steak please! 89
Callaway 2008 Winemaker’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Temecula, $42
594 cases produced
Female: Ripe cherry and black cherry aromas with black fruit on entry. The lush fruit is nicely integrated with the tannins. Nice acids. Nice balance. 88
Male: Lively black fruit and vanilla with a touch of green olive in the nose. There is a solid core of red fruit and black cherry, with some aggressive tannins that should soften in time. 86
Canine Wines 2007 Ink Grade Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $44.00
25 cases produced
Female: Cherry, black cherry, and herbal notes in the glass and in the mouth. Ripe fruit. Nice acid. Simple. Easy to enjoy. 86
Male: The color is dark and brooding. Coffee bean and cedar aromas lead to a solid but soft core of fruit with vanilla notes from front to back. Well defined and angular on the finish. 90
Cass 2008 Estate Cass Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $45.00
700 cases produced
Female: Floral perfume notes in the glass. Sweet cherry on opening then cherry tobacco flavors. Gripping acid and suitable tannins. Nice wine. 87
Male: Deep and dark in the glass. Mint, plum, vanilla, and spice come through on the nose. Big rich and lush in the mouth with big tannins on the finish. Young and tight. 87
Cass 2008 Reserve Cass Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $90.00
225 cases produced
Female: Cranberry and dried cranberry on the nose at first then opens to plummy aromas like baked plum pudding. Flavors are intense with plum, baking spices, Mission fig, anise, dried dark cherry, and dark coffee. Well-built and ready for the long haul. 91
Male: Earthy spice, red currant, black cherry, cola, and spicy toasty oak aromas. Cherry pie mouth coating fruit. Soft though substantial tannins. Chewy fruity on the finish. Generous and well-balanced. 89
Castello di Amorosa 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $49.00
2835 cases produced
Female: The nose is inviting with cola, coffee, cooked plum, and caramel. The palate flex the nose with sour plums on the finish. Well-balanced with good tannins. 89
Male: Aromatics of cherry and caramel lead to red and black fruit on the palate. Alcohol seems high. The tannins but enough fruit to age nicely. 86
Castello di Amorosa 2008 Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $88.00
946 cases produced
Female: Smoky, cherry aromas. The nose is very pretty. The palate is complex – earthy with tart cranberry, cedar, chewy plum, and leather. The long finish shows lots of black cherry and a hint of blackjack chewing gum (anise-like). Lovely mouth watering acid. 91
Male: Bright cherry and raspberry on the nose. Nice balance of fruit and oak on the palate. Classic Cab style. Tobacco, cola, and black tea notes round out the mellow finish. 90
Chateau Felice 2008 Barrel Fermented Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Chalk Hill, $59.00
75 cases produced
Female: Toasty and yeasty notes accent the light red fruit on the nose. Beautiful lush fruit on the palate, red and black, is highlighted by a complex layer of brown spice on the lovely, balanced finish. 90
Male: A complex cherry and raspberry fruit component defines the aromatics. The palate is no surprise as the complex fruit continues. Coffee and dusty cocoa on the finish make the aggressive tannins easier to appreciate. Should age beautifully. 91
Chateau Felice Black Label 2006 Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Chalk Hill, $29.00
250 cases produced
Female: Sherry, black cherry, and black raspberry aromas are replicated on the bright fruit palate. Mocha notes joining in mid to late then beautiful acidity. 88
Male: Plum, cinnamon, and vanilla aromas and flavors. Raspberry and a myriad of spices add to the interesting palate. 87
Christopher Creek 2007 Finlay’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Dry Creek, $32.00
330 cases produced
Female: Alluring aromas of cassis with tobacco notes. Juicy cherry and black raspberry flavors are highlighted by tobacco accents. Complex with spicy characteristics from start to lasting finish. 90
Male: Dark in color, almost India ink in the glass with a garnet-ruby hue. The nose is very nice-intense! Really lovely aromatics! Seems to be a wine of consequence and breeding. The mouth feel is silky but weighty. Profound. Some unresolved tannins give backbone and promise. The complexity and length offer potential. 92
Cloak & Dagger 2008 The Assassin Ink Grade Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain, Napa, $66.00
75 cases produced
Female: Lovely complex aromas and flavors showing dark fruit, pomegranate, cedar, and vanilla that are consistent throughout juicy and very appealing! 90
Male: The nose is muted at first but then opens to many layers. Juicy, nicely rounded, and balanced in the mouth. Classic Cabernet. Nice finish. 90
Consilience Wines 2007 Camp 4 Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Barbara County, $38.00
289 cases produced
Female: Cranberry, Asian spices, and green tea aromas and flavors. Lots of tannins here. Nice food to show its full potential. I think the grilled pork tenderloin with the cranberry glaze would be perfect. 87
Male: Black fruit, brown baking and Asian spices. Green tea notes too. Lighter red fruit on the palate. Tannins are prominent. 87
Copa Del Rey 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Colchagua Valley, Chile, $12.00
5140 cases produced
Female: Light red fruit aromatics. Sweet red fruit on entry. Tingly acid with some sour notes on the finish. Lighter style – easy to drink. 86
Male: It looks like a classic Cabernet in the glass. The aromatics are dominated by anise with a touch of mintiness. There in a soft and delicate balance of oak and fruit. Young but will pair beautifully with steak. 87
Cycles Gladiator 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lodi, $9.99
10515 cases produced
Female: Big-time lavender on the nose with a hint of cranberry. Ripe black fruit on entry turning to sour cherry. 86
Male: Black currant, licorice, liquid smoke, and floral aromas. Smoky dried currant on the palate. Medium plus tannins. 86
De Novo 2008 aCURE Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $27.00
245 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry and dusty cocoa notes on the nose. The wine has big shoulders, structured with plenty of dark red fruit and earthiness through the long finish. This is just a baby, lay it down for a year or two for complete enjoyment. 89
Male: Lush red and dark red fruit on the nose with lots of earth notes to support. Lots of ripe red fruit in the mouth with cocoa and coffee notes on the finish. 88
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $19.99
1910 cases produced
Female: Dark berry and spice on the nose. Rich and mouth filling with black cherry, and blackberry flavors, vanilla, and a touch of earth. Nicely crafted. Good depth on the finish. 87
Male: Floral and barnyard nose. Juicy red fruit on entry. Nice acid tannin balance. Licorice enters late on the palate. Strong tannins on the finish. 84
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards 2008 Unoaked Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $24.99
630 cases produced
Female: Baking spice and cherries list from the glass. Cherry on entry with the baking spices showing through. Lots of tannin on the finish. 86
Male: Subtle and well integrated aromatics of spice and fruit. Cherry pie/cobbler flavors. Oak tannins on the finish. 87
Dusinberre 2004 Boodeaux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $27.00
100 cases produced
Female: Big aromatics with blackberry, black cherry, plum, licorice, and black pepper. This is a balanced blockbuster. Black cherry and raspberry fruit are focused at the mid-palate. Earth notes add to the complexity. Nicely structured tannins and pretty oak integration pull the package together. Memorable finish! 91
Male: Aromas of vanilla, tobacco, cedar, nutmeg, clove, pomegranate, and red currant make you want to dive into the glass. When you do, you are rewarded with a lovely mouthfeel showing good acidity. Pure clean fruit shows through with raspberry, blackberry, blood orange, black cherry, and plum deftly integrated with the oak. The fruit and tannins are balanced nicely on the finish. 92

Eberle 2009 Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $19.00
4302 cases produced
Female: Wow, what is that? Aromas of gingersnap cookies with a dab of raspberry jam. Sweet fruit mid-palate. Nice acid and even tannins. Lovely and enticing wine! 88
Male: Dark chocolate and coffee on the appealing nose. This wine is soft, round, supple, and balanced. Cedar and tobacco, licorice and blackberry flavors expand from front to back. Complex and delicious! 89

Eberle 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $34.00
3524 cases produced
Female: Lighter red fruit, earth and eucalyptus aromas lead to a focused palate showing cherry and cherry vanilla flavors. Bright acid on the finish. Great pizza wine. 88
Male: In the glass. The wine is a dense garnet color. The vanilla and dark fruit nose delivers substantial fruit on the palate. Heavy tannins show through. Very structured. Should age well. 92
Eberle 2007 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $75.00
692 cases produced
Female: Deep black fruit aromas that are nicely layered in the nose and in the mouth with baking spices. Tart red fruit – cranberry, shows up late on the palate. Structured wine that is well-balanced and a pleasure to drink. 88
Male: The nose is the big and brooding. “This could be a potential monster.” The wine has mellowed nicely in the glass as it has opened – it’s still a big wine but not a monster. Rich fruit flavors that are slightly tart. Well-balanced. “I like this wine!” 88
Ecluse Wines 2009 Lock Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $36.00
196 cases produced
Female: Cigar box aromas lead to a ripe black cherry entry that broadens as it moves across the palate. The tannins are big but well integrated. This is just a baby. Needs time. 88
Male: Cedar, black cherry, rhubarb, and a hint of mint on the nose. Lush dense black fruit with soft tannins. Lovely palate with lively acid to carry the weight of the fruit. 89
Ehret Family Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Knights Valley, $34.00
432 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry and black pepper aromas. Black fruit. Nice spice accents on the palate. Tannins into with the fruit. 86
Male: Black pepper, light cherry/raspberry aromatic. Spiced black fruit with coffee and earth notes. BIG! 86
En Garde 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Diamond Mountain District – Napa Valley, $88.00
80 cases produced
Female: The black cherry and cherry pie nose carries through onto the palate. Dried herbs join cherry and currant flavors mid-mouth. A tart and sassy wine with plenty of acidity. Long lifted finish. 89
Male: Rhubarb pie with boysenberry and cassis and coffee and cola and cedar and vanilla… Is there really room in the glass for all these aromas? The wine is wonderfully dense. The fruit shines through on the palate with a mouthful of plum and cherry. Cocoa and a mélange of herbs show through on the big complex finish. 94
En Garde 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Diamond Mountain District – Napa Valley, $68.00
175 cases produced
Female: Cherry and a touch of oak in the nose. Rich opening of dark cherry leads to a smooth and rounded middle palate. Nice depth and balance. Coffee kicks in on the long finish. 88
Male: The vibrant aromatics open to an elegant, smooth palate of medium weight. Juicy dark fruit and not too much oak in the mouth tart and tangy tannins on the lingering finish. Will get better with time. 88
Fernwood Cellars 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Cruz Mountains, $40.00
425 cases produced
Female: Light red cherry on the nose. Ripe cherry and black cherry at the core with oak elements still prominent but the beginning to integrate. Shows characteristics of a very young wine. 87
Male: Baking spices, brown sugar, black cherries, and earth aromatics are repeated on the palate showing nice continuity. 87
Field Stone Winery 2007 Staten Family Reserve, Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $40.00
495 cases produced
Female: The dusty berry nose opens upon aeration to spice and earth notes. The aromas carry onto the palate with tart cherry and a hint of menthol. Green herbs on the finish complete the wine. There is a good level of acidity. A very nice food friendly Cabernet Sauvignon. 90
Male: Deep color in the glass. The nose is incredibly complex showing tobacco, caramel, lemon thyme, and marshmallow with undertones of dark cherry. The tannins are prominent at first but then the fruit jumps out of the glass and lingers. The juicy and tasty palate shows blood orange, strawberry, black cherry, and subtle spice. This big, dense wine has a lovely finish. 92
Field Stone Winery 2007 Wally’s Block, Estate Bottled Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $30.00
500 cases produced
Female: Inviting aromas of black cherry and barnyard notes on the nose open to a focus palate a focused palate that shows both fruit and oak to advantage. Lush dark fruit enters mid-palate. Firm tannins and good length. “This baby needs time!” 87
Male: The nose is a closed at first, then opens to berries with floral notes. The flavors are rustic and youthful with blackberry, oak, and black tea dominating. A bit dusty on the persistent finish. 88
Firefly Night 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, CA, $35.00
100 cases produced
Female: A fair amount of cedar closet on the nose. Flavors of cassis, sour cherry, and black pepper in the mouth. Well-built wine with a friendly structure. Good tannins – nicely integrated. A solid wine with a nice texture. A crowd pleaser! 91
Male: Everything is absolutely correct on this wine – cherry, blueberry, tobacco, black currant, and cassis aromas. Perfectly integrated oak – seamless with vanilla and nutmeg accents. Vibrant acidity. Firm structure. Long finish. “Not incredibly complex but perhaps the best balanced wine. I tasted today. Drink now through 2015.” 90
Firefly Night 2008 LUMINESCENCE Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, CA, $45.00
100 cases produced
Female: Cedar and rhubarb aromas are replicated on the palate. Easy wine to like. 87
Male: Hints of soy and black tea in the glass. Delicious sweet berry and cocoa flavors that I would like to continue but the finish comes to soon. 86
For Giving 2008 Godspeed Cabernet Sauvignon
Mt. Veeder, $90.00
25 cases produced
Female: Rich wood aromas with dark cherry and cigar emanate from the glass…very enticing. Lovely! Easy to drink yet plenty of interesting layers – the dark and lush fruit is accented by fennel, coffee, dark chocolate, and currant.”This is a documentary you want to watch.” 93
Male: Concentrated blackberry, dark chocolate, leather, and cherry tobacco too. Juicy cassis and cherry flavors with vanilla and toasted hazelnut on the finish. Big, young tannins. “Angular and interesting now, I would expect it to improve over the next 7 to 10 years.” 90
Four A’s 2008 Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $69.00
150 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and plum aromas are replicated on the palate. The oak and acidity are in balance with the fruit. The bigger style New World Cabernet. 87
Male: Deep Crimson in the glass. Plum and anise on the nose. Very dark fruit with black pepper on the palate. Very young. It shows like a youthful Bordeaux. Lean in the middle a linear character and a sleek finish. 88

Grady Family Vineyards 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Lodi, $14.99
160 cases produced
Female: Intoxicating mushroom aromas lead to cherry vanilla notes upon entry. Bright and juicy spice infused cherry on the palate balanced with very pretty tannins and a velvety finish. 90
Male: Earthy nose. The palate is loaded with cherry and currants. The mouth feel is silky with voluptuous fruit and cedar accents. Easy tannins. Nice finish. 90
Grayson Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $9.99
5000 cases produced
Female: The aromatics are oaky leading to a palate that displays predominantly black fruit. Full tannins. The finish is a bit sharp. 87
Male: Caramel on the nose. The caramel carries through onto the palate dominating the black raspberry and plum fruit. Oaky finish. 85
Great Dane 2008 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, $110.00
25 cases produced
Female: Inviting baking spices over dark berry fruit from start to finish. Black tea flavors and rhubarb fruit join mid-palate. Nice acidity. Easy to drink and enjoy. 87
Male: Charcoal, blackberries, pencil shavings, and forest floor aromatics. The palate shows lots of black fruit and good acidity. 87
Guglielmo Private Reserve 2007 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Clara Valley, $25.00
700 cases produced
Female: This is very interesting wine with barnyard and herbal aromas. Cherry and rhubarb fruit are accented by black pepper throughout the wine but especially on the finish. 87
Male: There is a beautiful amber tone to the wine in the glass. Aromatics of sweet cherry with a touch of vanilla leading to a lush fruit palate that reflects the aromas. Big oak but it is well integrated. 87
Hagafen 2008 Estate Grown and Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $45.00
400 cases produced
Female: Gingersnap aromas open to wild berry flavors and delicious hit of cocoa mid-palate. Mocha on the pretty finish. Lively and pure. 89
Male: Rich nose of blackberry, leather, and oak. Great fresh berry fruit on entry turning tart on the finish. The oak tannins dominate the finish. 87
Hahn Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Central Coast, $12.00
14448 cases produced
Female: Cabernet aromas.…vanilla and cherry pie. The fruit is a little light on entry then opens to ripe blackberry fruit with spicy oak and a touch of coconut on the finish.
Male: Complex nose of oak, blackberry, earth, cinnamon, leather, and one of our panelists even found avocado, and olive oil here too. Dark stone fruit with oak accents on entry. Toasty black cherry, and jammy black plum explode mid-palate. The finish is not as exciting as what comes before it. 87
Helena View Chateau Classic 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $29.95
100 cases produced
Female: Although this wine shows age, there is youthfulness that shows at the outer edge. Sweet black cherry on entry with a bit of tart sour cherry mid-palate then nice acid on the finish. An older wine you can enjoy. 90
Male: Cherry, currant, some black pepper, and hints of mint arise from the glass. Pleasant fruit flavors. Nicely structured. Ready to drink now. 87
Herzog Special Reserve 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $38.00
2500 cases produced
Female: “This cab shows angle and attitude.” Bright red fruit and pomegranate with plenty of acid and tannins. 85
Male: Tall drying grass and length red fruit aromas open to like red fruit with quite a bit of oak. 84
Hidden Ridge 2006 Lot #1 Hidden Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $55.00
252 cases produced
Female: Brown baking spices lead to blueberry pie aromas that are replicated on the palate. Tannins kick in and add complexity. 89
Male: Mushrooms, cranberry, and anise aromas lead to a rich, harmonious palate. Great balance, depth, and grip. Persistent fruit through the finish. 91
Hook & Ladder Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Russian River Valley, $25.00
1000 cases produced
Female: Fresh, lively aromas of tart cherry, raspberry, and cranberry with back notes of tree bark. Berry and green olive notes on the palate with vanilla and caramel accents. The finish has pleasant oak and acid. 89
Male: Blackberry and cranberry scones on the nose, inviting. Black plum, black currant, and rhubarb pie with cinnamon and allspice. Pink and white pepper show on the finish. Soft acids. 88
Indigene Cellars 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Maria Valley, $24.00
250 cases produced
Female: Sweet floral aromas. Tart red fruit with heavy vanilla notes in the mouth. 82
Male: Blackberry and spice aromatics. Vanilla, crème brûlée flavors with light eucalyptus on the finish. 86
Indigene Cellars 2007 Estate Carmel Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Monterey County, $29.00
500 cases produced
Female: Aromas of cherry, black cherry, and baking spice invite you to take a sip – but first – swirl and enjoy the aromas a bit longer. Bright, ripe, and delicious cherry and blueberry flavors. Lots to like here in terms of fruit. Simple finish lifted by the nice acidity. 89
Male: Blood red in color. Forward aromas of red and black currants, smoke, black olive, eucalyptus, and thyme. The rich and ripe opening displays dark fruit. Juicy on the palate with lots of tangy red fruit and a touch of sweetness mid-palate. Well integrated oak… very balanced wine. Nice acidity shows on the long finish. 89
J Pilar 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
South Coast, $19.99
180 cases produced
Female: The brooding nose leads to the full-bodied wine. Cassis and berry flavors dominate. Nice purity. And tobacco on the finish which displays silky tannins. 88
Male: The light nose disguises the fruit forward aspects of the wine. Black cherry, plum, and rhubarb flavors. Nice, easy drinking mid-palate showing black stone fruit. Finishes with light tannins. 87
J. Rickards Winery 2008 Five Sisters Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, $34.00
250 cases produced
Female: The nose is elusive at first but then opens to cherry and vanilla notes. Layered and complex on the palate. Beautifully balance. 88
Male: Classic rich Cabernet nose. Black raspberry, earth, oak, cocoa, and coffee blend together in the seamless wine. Balanced finish. 90
JuneRay Wines 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ashlow, $97.00
60 cases produced
Female: The lovely and inviting nose of ripe cherries and sweet tobacco doesn’t disappoint. This is a solidly made wine that displays dark and lush blackberries, dark currant, cigar box, and basil. Nicely structured showing deft use of oak. Nice balance! “Had not heard of this wine before. So glad to have discovered it!” 91
Male: Blackberry, root beer, smoke, and licorice aromas and flavors that are consistent through mid-palate. Great acidity with sour cherry, raspberry, and caraway kick in to complete the wine. This wine carries its weight very well. Great structure. The finish is a bit lighter than it starts, but this is a very impressive effort. Should age nicely. 90
Keating 2008 Beckstoffer Georges III Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford, Napa Valley, $95.00
341 cases produced
Female: Pretty in the glass. Definitely full and textured. Smells and tastes like a raspberry milk chocolate bar with hazelnuts and a hint of toasted coconut. The wood on the persistent length. 88
Male: Brambly nose with the added depth of cedar, cigar box, smoke, and cola. Big fruit in the mouth accented with cocoa and oak notes. Nice texture! 88
Kenefick Ranch 2007 Estate Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
Calistoga AVA, $60.00
605 cases produced
Female: A bit unruly (this is good!) in the glass with layers of oak, bright cherry, dark black cherry, hints of roasted eggplant, and black & white pepper – quite spicy. Great texture, nice balance! An elegant wine. 90
Male: Very aromatic. Pretty perfumed berry and currant fruit with mint, cocoa, and licorice. Artfully made! Beautifully integrated oak. Everything fits together perfectly. Polished tannins. Tremendous Bordeaux-like finish. “I want to know who the winemaker is!” 93
Kenwood Vineyards 2008 Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $30.00
11712 cases produced
Female: Interesting in the glass. Herbal notes of bay leaf, rose petals, and a hint of mint. The palate is spicy! Good acidity and bolts tannins. Long finish of Eucalyptus, cedar, pine, and cloves. 86
Male: Clear dark Ruby in the glass. Black currant, dried currant, and cedar aromas . Repeat on the palate. Well balanced. 88
Kenwood Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $16.00
40000 cases produced
Female: Aromas of cherry jam open to a very structured wine. The tannins are bigger than expected. The fruit is there but muted by the oak. Should get better with time. 87
Male: Nice nose of cassis and tea. Rich opening showing cassis with earthy backnotes. Nicely balanced. Harmonious and lively. Good depth and grip. Nice finish. 90
L’Amante 2008 Ink Grade Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain/Napa Valley, $59.95
300 cases produced
Female: Wow! Raspberry, cherry, rhubarb, wood, and herbs on the nose. Gorgeous chewy texture with layers of pine, cedar, red currant, black cherry, green olive, leather. I could go on and on. Lots of tannin but then mouthwatering acid on the finish. Well constructed. A baby but it’s going to be beautiful! 92
Male: Good nose with jammy blackberry, plenty of French oak, olive, sage, and bay laurel. “Love the flavors!” Lush BlackBerry, vanilla, Brown, baking spices, and vibrant acidity. Concentrated but graceful. Sturdy and well extracted with nice minerally backbone. Killer black currant, vanilla, and stone. Loooong finish. One to cellar. 93
La Craie American Celebration 2007 Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Chalk Hill, $49.00
75 cases produced
Female: Sour cherry on the nose. Flavors of cranberry, plum, black cherry, dark coffee, and earth with a hint of eucalyptus. The tannins are prominent but the fruit helps to carry them. For full enjoyment, decant this for at least an hour. 88
Male: Chocolate, vanilla, dried herb, minced, plum, and cassis aromas. Seems very ripe and the oak element is obvious. Clean, precise flavors…blackberry, anise, and dried herbs. Plump but well-balanced. Dusty tannins. 91
Lake Crest Winery 2008 Oroville Cabernet Sauvignon
Washington, $16.00
80 cases produced
Female: Gingerbread and baking chocolate aromas rise from the glass. Really red right fruit on the palate. A very pleasant wine. Enjoy with a great burger. 88
Male: Rich dark berry and minty aromatics open to a juicy palate with citrus notes on the edges. Cranberry flavors mid- to late with a pleasant food-friendly finish. 90
Las Flores 2009 Reserve Terra Bella Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $28.00
47 cases produced
Female: Yeast and cherry arise from the glass. Dark sour cherry and plum flavors. Mouth watering acid. Oak tannins are definitely there but well integrated. 87
Male: Swirl the glass and the aromatics reveal hype tobacco, red Apple, plum, Cedar, anise and thyme. Light red fruit mid-palate with baking spices on the finish. 86

Lucas & Lewellen 2008 Valley View Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Barbara County, $27.00
671 cases produced
Female: Green herbal essence on the nose. Mentholated cherry cough drops on the palate. Herbal throughout with cassis joining in on the finish. 88
Male: The warm and seductive nose of graham cracker, plum, rhubarb, and raspberry lead to a lovely mouth feel with breadth and depth. This is a well focused wine. Nice acid on the length. The tannins are nicely resolved. 90

Lucas & Lewellen 2007 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Barbara County, $48.00
216 cases produced
Female: Light herbal notes over light fruit with a touch of oaky notes in the nose. Soft opening of light red fruit. Oak kicks in mid to late. Young. Will improve with age. 87
Male: The nose carries through onto the palate with complex flavors of black cherry, cedar, plum, graphite, and leather. Consistent and smooth finish. 87

Lucas & Lewellen 2008 COTE DEL SOL Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Barbara County, $32.00
359 cases produced
Female: Gingerbread aromas lead to a solid core of blackberry and red cherry flavors accented by black olive notes. Mouth filling wine with nice acid on the lovely finish. 90
Male: Concentrated blackberry and cherry aromas with a like amount of spice, showing vanilla and allspice. Complex mid-palate…blackberry, cocoa, and chocolate. The wine appears soft though the tannins are substantial. Fine balance with a long finish that evolves beautifully. A keeper! 92
Malk Family Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, $72.00
500 cases produced
Female: Earthy green pepper notes greet your nose. Berry, cherry, and spice fill the palate. Balanced on the palate, lifted with lively acidity. Full flavored. 90
Male: The nose is complex with coffee, raspberry, cassis, and dried herb with a subtle spice back note. The palate is full… dark cassis and plum, almost purple fruit flavors. Modern style with smooth oak that is well-integrated with the fruit. 90
Martin Ray Winery 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District, $45.00
1200 cases produced
Female: Sweet and cranberry juice on the nose with a touch of green herbs. The red fruit entry is complemented by tarragon and oregano accents. Then mouthwatering acids kick in. 85
Male: Baked plum, blueberry pie, cranberry juice, and celery root aromas and flavors. Serious acidity and fruit in the mouth. Finish is slightly hot. 85
Martin Ray Winery 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Mountain, $50.00
1200 cases produced
Female: The nose opens with aromas of a cranberry bog and wet leaves…a fall day on Cape Cod and continues to evolve with toast and rye notes. All of the aromas replicate on the palate with added flavors of blackberry jam and apple butter. “This baby makes you pucker with the significant tannin and acidity on the long finish. A wine to ponder.” 92
Male: Cherry, black currant, mint, sweet spice, and wood aromas open to a complex melange of flavors with dark fruit, earth, and brown baking spices through the late palate. “What makes this wine really appealing is the balance and structure.” 89
Martin Ray Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa-Mendocino-Sonoma Counties, $20.00
7500 cases produced
Female: The dusty wild berry aromas deliver fruity flavors on the round palate. A touch of anise on the finish. Easy to quaff. 88
Male: Black plum and black cherry aromas. Repeat on the palate. Easy to sip. Rich and smooth on the finish. 86
Masquerade 2005 Les Collines Cabernet Sauvignon
Walla Walla Valley, $24.99
335 cases produced
Female: Black raspberry with green pepper and soy notes on the nose. Smoky rhubarb and black cherry flavors on entry. Black and green tea join mid-palate through the finish which has a touch of welcome acidity. 85
Male: Coffee with molasses frame black fruit on the interesting aromatic. Rich black fruit accented by mocha and coffee flavors. Well developed tannins and just enough acidity to finish the process. Decant to fully enjoy. 87
Masquerade 2007 Troika Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, $22.99
221 cases produced
Female: Slightly medicinal on the nose. Showing menthol and herbal notes. Surprisingly nice texture on the palate. Smooth tannins on the finish which displays a bit of green tea, green olives and capers. Nice! 89
Male: Candied red apple and rhubarb aromas and flavors with cedar, smoke, and menthol. Orange peel and citrus on the pleasant acid finish. 85
McGrail 2008 Reserve McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Livermore Valley, $36.00
1412 cases produced
Female: The dense fruity nose opens to a silken palate showing blackberries, black cherry, dark caramel, and dark chocolate flavors. The palate is lovely with a smooth texture and shows excellent oak integration. The components are fused beautifully. Serve with steak and wild mushrooms. 90
Male: Black plum, vanilla, dried herbs, cola, and a clean minerality define the nose. Nicely balanced on the palate with delicious red and black plum, cherry, black currant, and blackberry flavors that are well-integrated with the tannins. The long dark fruit finish is laced with earthiness. Nice length, structure, and acidity. 91

Meadowcroft Wines 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Mt Veeder, Napa Valley, $60.00
185 cases produced
Female: The nose is earthy and spicy leading to black cherry and raspberry flavors on the palate. These are joined by bay leaf and tea spice. Purity in the glass. Nicely balanced with a lingering finish. 90
Male: The nose is complex…hay, dry forest herbs, wood, butter, corn, red plum, and mulberry. Nice entry of green olive opening to black cherry fruit accented by dried herbs. The silky oak mid-palate leads to a smooth finish. 90

Meadowcroft Wines 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $36.00
250 cases produced
Female: Tight nose. Light red fruit on entry turning to black fruit surrounded by coffee notes. Some burnt notes on the finish. 86
Male: The nose is elusive. Very light red fruit on the palate, turning a bit lusher mid-through the finish. 85
Michael Pozzan 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $19.00
4000 cases produced
Female: Light red fruit aromas open to light cherry with rhubarb flavors in the mouth. Herbal notes show up late. Nice acid and herbal notes are what linger on the finish. 86
Male: Delicate in appearance. Aromatics of violets and blueberries. Good solid core of fruit. Good balance. Tight. Young. 88
Michael Pozzan 2008 Napa Cuvee No.14 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $20.00
2595 cases produced
Female: The nose is meaty at first and then opens to black raspberry jam aromas. Straightforward Cabernet Sauvignon with direct flavors of dark cassis, tobacco, dark chocolate, and mint. Espresso comes through mid-palate and there is nice acidity on the finish. 90
Male: The aromas are layered and interesting – cream de cassis, cedar, black cherry, red currant, bay, and dill. “It’s rather Bordeaux-like.” Currant fruit on the soft and lush palate. The wine shows stony with a hint of black olive and cedar on the mid-palate through the lingering finish. Nicely structured wine. 90
Midsummer Cellars 2008 Canon Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $40.00
148 cases produced
Female: “Dark black cherry and strawberry, smells like something yummy to have for dessert.” Deep dark fruit with lots of 0ak on the finish. Will live a long time. 88
Male: Dark ruby in color. The nose shows black currant, red currant, and coffee and carry through onto the palate. The tannins are chalky on the long finish. 87
Midsummer Cellars 2008 Fowler Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Knights Valley, $25.00
336 cases produced
Female: There’s blackberry fruit here that is very inviting. Layers of toasty oak accents throughout. Sour cherry on mid-palate that continues through the finish. 87
Male: Lots of oak on the nose with rich flavors of blackberry and cassis on entry. Cedar and leather join on the firm finish. 86
Midsummer Cellars 2008 Tomasson Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
St. Helena, $40.00
74 cases produced
Female: Black fruit, vanilla, Eucalyptus, and herbal notes on the nose. Black fruit on entry. Very chewy mouth feel with big tannins on the finish. 86
Male: Aromas of vanilla, baking spice, suite herbs and baked apple lead to a palate displaying blackberry, plum, and cassis with nice acidity on the very lengthy finish. 88
Miro 2009 Silverwood Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander valley, $30.00
380 cases produced
Female: Ripe cherries, dark berries, and vanilla aromas are replicated on the soft entry. The flavors gain depth on the palate with added blackberry, blueberry, and baking spices. Beautifully balanced with great acidity. A wonderful wine to enjoy now but it’s just a baby and will get better with time. 90
Male: Great stucture and balance. Soft attack that mirrors the nose of red, black, and blueberries with earthy and lovely spice notes. Great integration of oak. Smooth and pleasing. Lay this puppy down, it will get better and better with time. 90
Napa Station 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $21.00
2525 cases produced
Female: Lovely rich, ripe, round dark fruit aromatics that carry onto the palate showing red cherry, cassis, and raspberry with a slight herbaceousness. Caramel, light toasted oak, and vanilla show through on the finish on this smooth textured wine. 90
Male: Caramel corn and dark fruit aromas open to chocolate and tobacco accents in the glass. This wine has a strong tannic structure but the fruit emerges well. Red cherry and plum with dried herb notes on entry. Smooth woody mid-palate moves into a complex tannic finish with good fruit showing through. 90
Napa Station 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $23.00
3100 cases produced
Female: Beautiful color in the glass. Very deep and dark. Fruity plum aromas lead to lovely raspberry jam flavors with cocoa, coffee, and peppers added to the mix mid-palate. Nice wine. 89
Male: Smoky meat aromatics open to black cherry flavors with cocoa notes joining mid-palate. Soft tannins on the finish. 87
Oak Mountain Winery 2009 Estate Morera Cabernet Sauvignon
South Coast, $60.00
150 cases produced
Female: Black raspberry and violets in the glass. Sweet but not overly lush fruit. “Really, very pretty.” Tannins are prominent but not overpowering. Has promise. 87
Male: The nose is they the palate shows a rich blend of blackberry, cedar, minced, and licorice. Firm tannins on the finish. Good food wine. 87
ORSIANNA 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendocino, $20.00
1500 cases produced
Female: Black cherry with cigar box overtones in the glass. Dark black fruit with lovely layers of spice, mocha, and coffee. Very nice! 88
Male: Cedar and while cherry create a rustic aromatic. The palate broadens with ripe black fruit. Coffee notes and soft cherry on the finish. 88
Pedroncelli 2009 Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Dry Creek Valley, $17.00
7500 cases produced
Female: The nose is elusive at first but opens to light red fruit that repeats on entry. Sour cherry on the mid-palate through the black pepper finish. 87
Male: Subtle and well proportioned aromas of black fruit and spice lead to a much more dramatic palate than expected. Ripe plum and black cherry with mint/spice combination on the finish. Beautiful. Will age. 89
Pedroncelli 2009 Estate Vineyard Block 007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dry Creek Valley, $25.00
1000 cases produced
Female: Good solid Cabernet nose showing plum, blackberry, and spice aromas. Black currant flavors on opening with smoke, espresso, eucalyptus, and burnt sugar notes joining mid-palate through the finish. Nice integration and balance. 89
Male: Plum like aromas and candied red apple with hints of cranberry lead to black currant and earthy notes on the palate. Well integrated wine. Somewhat dry but excellent finish. 89
Pedroncelli 2008 Morris Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $19.00
1000 cases produced
Female: Cherry jam on the nose that carries through onto the palate. Red fruit on entry with lots of herbal notes that hang in through the finish. “I like!” 87
Male: Coffee and toast complement the red fruit on the nose. Dried fruit and spice on the palate. 86
Penman Springs Vineyard 2007 Penman Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $26.00
294 cases produced
Female: Herbal notes rise from the glass. Licorice and black tea notes chime in. The aromas are repeated on the palate surrounding the black cherry core. An elegant wine with firm tannins and a satisfying finish. 91
Male: Dense garnet color with strong cola and dark fruit aromas in the glass. Smooth tannins and nice acidity. Lots of plum and black cherry on the palate with a long wonderful finish. 92
Perrucci Family Vineyard 2006 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Cruz Mountains, $75.00
100 cases produced
Female: Dark oak and then cinnamon red-hot on the nose. Dark spicy black cherry fruit with a mint edge. Nice acid and warm tannins. 88
Male: Aromatics of cedar and plum melded together. Complex palate showing sassafras, brown sugar, cinnamon, black currant, and chocolate. 90
Perrucci Family Vineyard 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $38.00
450 cases produced
Female: Smells like an older Bordeaux. Soft dark fruit flavors accented by herbs. There is plenty of acidity on the finish. Tasted this with a wonderful cheese called Petit Basque – lovely. 87
Male: The nose is reminiscent of wild blackberries near a toasty campfire with citrus notes in the background. Lush palate of black fruit and spice from front to back. Soft tannins embrace the dark fruit and move toward a savory finish. 89
Perrucci Family Vineyard 2006 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Cruz Mountains, $75.00
100 cases produced
Female: The exotic spicy aromas pure and clean. Cherry and plum flavors with hints of eucalyptus on entry through mid-palate. Tobacco and coffee notes on the finish. Nicely crafted. The finish is long and memorable. 91
Male: Great nose! Toasty oak opens to baked blackberry pie with hints of coffee and citrus notes. The palate is just as exciting with exotic Asian spice, black plum, and blackberry liqueur flavors on opening. It’s jammy with vanilla elements almost like a caramel latte. There’s lots of fruit, but enough acidity to last. 90
Pollak 2009 Reserve Smuggler Cabernet Sauvignon
Monticello, $30.00
274 cases produced
Female: Pickled barrel and red fruit with cigar box notes rise from the glass. Nice acidity and oak balance. “I like this on the palate a lot more than I thought I would.” 87
Male: Black licorice, a touch of anise, and rich black cherry aromas. Black cherry on the palate with coffee and chocolate notes on the finish. 87
Prestwood Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, $79.00
200 cases produced
Female: The wine is dark, almost opaque in the glass. Mint, black cherry, and vanilla notes on the nose. Ripe red and black cherry, mint, and coffee from start to finish. Nicely balanced. A great example of Cabernet from California. 90
Male: Complex and elegant aromatics covering a broad fruit range with spice and earth notes. The palate is beautifully proportioned with complex black fruit, lovely tannins, and precise finishing acids. Drinks like a young Bordeaux. 93
Prix 2006 MJT Block Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $60.00
200 cases produced
Female: Earthy aromas open to pristine red cherry fruit on entry and through the mid-palate where the earthy notes jump in side-by-side with milk chocolate and mineral notes. A well-made wine. 89
Male: Bright cherry on the nose, dried cherry on the palate. The soft tannins throughout are appealing and embrace the vibrant flavors. Subtle well-integrated oak is a real plus on this wine. 90
pureCru 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $38.00
450 cases produced
Female: Mint and cherry on the nose are repeated on the palate but somewhat masked by the big tannins. There’s lots of cherry fruit under there This wine needs time and will get lots better as the tannins received in the fruit comes up. 87
Male: Plum, cherry, raspberry, and licorice on the nose. Similar palate. “The finish is short. I like this wine. I wish it hung in there longer.” 87

R&B Cellars 2006 Reserve Bingham Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $50.00
683 cases produced
Female: Caramel and black cherry notes on the nose. Layers of spice on the palate with light red fruit peeking out on the finish. Enjoy with a rare steak. 87
Male: Black pepper, minced, and black licorice aromatics. Dried black fruit and dried cherries on opening. Cocoa coats the palate with a lasting spicy finish. 86
Redwood Creek 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $8.00
500000 cases produced
Female: Red fruit and berry compote aromas. Sweet red fruit flavors turned heart at the finish. Pleasant. 83
Male: Floral notes and vanilla introduce the red fruit flavors. Simple. Easy to drink. 84
Reynolds 2007 Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $45.00
1509 cases produced
Female: Minty berry aromas deliver clean, fresh, and bright fruit flavors. Anise notes on the finish. 86
Male: Rich nose blackberry, coffee, cedar, and leather. Continues through the palate and finish. Linear wine with firm tannins on the finish. 89
Roberts + Rogers 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain, $75.00
600 cases produced
Female: Smells like a North Coast experience – a bit like the pine forest with black fruit growing nearby and hints roasted fresh peppers. “The phenomenal acidity and tannins grab you by the collar and hold you there.” Lovely and complex. 89
Male: Bright cherry, tart, leather, and baking spices on the nose. The aromas are delivered onto the palate. Very nice spicy fruit. Great acid and balance finish is with making spice and tobacco notes. Firm tannins. 90
Roy J Maier 2007 Saint Helena Road Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $60.00
300 cases produced
Female: The spice, floral notes, and cherry blossom aromas are intoxicating. The palate is precise with black cherry, cassis, and cigar box spice. Broad and full-bodied in the mouth with firm tannins. 92
Male: Blackberry and boysenberry jam aromas arise from the glass then berry pie and cinnamon spice… and I haven’t even taken a sip. Deep in color showing a touch of age at the rim. The palate is rich with blackberry compote and licorice accents. Cedar, mushroom, and dark earth expand on the finish. Very complex and stylish. 90
Scherrer Winery 2003 Scherrer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $60.00
300 cases produced
Female: Great elegance on this older Cabernet. The black raspberry, black tea, and licorice nose opens to sweet red and black fruit, turning to sour cherry with smoky notes on the finish. Solid integration of fruit, oak, and balanced acidity. Lovely! 89
Male: The subtleties and sophistication of Bordeaux with the magic of California. 91
Scherrer Winery 2004 Scherrer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $55.00
200 cases produced
Female: An interesting and distinctive wine. Warm fruit compote, toffee, and caramel on the nose with sassafras backnotes. Lovely layers of dark sour cherry with black tea accents. Incredibly well-balanced. Really pretty. A wine with some age and a long life to go. 91
Male: Olive, red currant, dried flowers, sweet berry flavors, and a touch of dustiness on the nose. Deliciously sweet and sweet/tart fruit. The oak is nicely integrated showing anise, vanilla, and herbs. The finish is precise. Soft tannins and crisp acidity. 92
School House 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, $45.00
383 cases produced
Female: Forest floor and floral notes accents the deep red fruit in the glass and in the mouth. Black cherry on entry with quite a bit of oak on the finish. This wine is young and will evolve beautifully. 88
Male: Stewed black fruit, cherries, plums, graphite, and cedar aromas arise from the glass. The palate reflects the nose in all its complexity. Well-balanced. Medium plus tannins on the long and lovely finish. 89
Serene Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $54.00
800 cases produced
Female: “This smells like serious stuff.” The complex nose has layers of cherry and black cherry fruit, herbaceousness, and coffee. A masculine style – that is nicely built with solid cranberry, blueberry, and pepper flavors with hints of eucalyptus and black currant. Toasted walnut and brown sugar on the finish. Nicely structured with plenty of lively acid on the long finish. 93
Male: Deep color with a chocolaty nose. Dense, sweet blackberry fruit. Blackberry, cassis, vanilla, and caramel flavors with very firm acidity and tannins. Great long finish. 91
Serene Cellars 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, $54.00
800 cases produced
Female: The nose is intense with chocolate, coffee, dark and red fruit, herbal notes, and some eucalyptus. A well structured wine. Beautifully integrated oak with lovely acidity. 88
Male: The nose tells the story of the complex wine to come with coffee, mocha, tart, herbs, rosemary, blackberries and dark cherry aromas. On the palate the dark fruit is active core and is deftly surrounded with oak. Good structure and mouth feel with the long finish. 90
Shed Horn Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lake County, $29.00
267 cases produced
Female: The nose is appealing and sweet with flavors of caramel covered apples and sweet blackberry jam – there is a hint of smoky wood as a backnote. Flavors of cranberry, rhubarb, and sour cherry with herbal notes. Some nice acid here. 88
Male: Sweet oak, lavender, blackberry, and cinnamon candy on the nose. Lush fruit with a dose of vanilla on the palate. Soft tannins with a warm finish completes the package. 88

Shenanigans Fine Irish Cab 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lodi, $11.99
600 cases produced
Female: The nose is elusive but the mouth is rich with black cherry, mocha, cocoa, cranberry, rhubarb, and herbal notes. Very interesting. 88
Male: Dark raspberry aromas with cocoa and black tea backnotes. Soft and easy drinking Cabernet with a light style and an interesting finish which shows dried flower notes. 86
Signorello Estate 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $50.00
2500 cases produced
Female: Molasses, caramel, and dark red fruit aromas rise from the glass. Dark ripe fruit on entry joined by big oak tannins mid-to late. A powerful wine that is very young. Needs time to mature. 87
Male: Dark inky in the glass and on the palate. Very full-bodied. Black and red fruit – blackberry and rhubarb. Big and bold. Not for the faint of heart. 87
Smith & Hook 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Central Coast, $30.00
4000 cases produced
Female: Very intense berry on the nose with oodles of vanilla and a hint of coconut. Blackberry/blueberry compote flavors with licorice backnotes. Toasty oak on the finish with touches of lilac and lavender. 90
Male: Mint, menthol, plum, bay leaf, and allspice waft from the glass. There is a flinty minerality that draws you in. The spices carry through onto the palate leading to juicy pomegranate and raspberry flavors that overtake the chalky tannins. Lots of depth here. Very nice finish. 90

Sol Rouge 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $75.00
150 cases produced
Female: Oaky, smoky, and coffee notes with light red fruit on the nose. The palate is super spicy showing eucalyptus and black fruit. Medium tannins with cherry and cloves on the finish. 88
Male: Ruby and clear in the glass. Black currant nose leads to palate showing some fun red fruit and lots of vanilla notes. There is quite a bit of alcohol here. Cocoa shows on the oaky finish. 86

Sol Rouge 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lake County, $32.00
175 cases produced
Female: Cherry and vanilla on the oaky nose. Soft and round. Plummy flavors with cherry accents. Dry tannins. 88
Male: Delightful fruity nose…clean fruit with backnotes of vanilla and lilac. Black rose and black Krim tomato fruit accented by dill. Dusty minerality on the light finish. 89
Spoto Wines 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Oakville, $95.00
100 cases produced
Female: The initial cranberry nose leads to bigger blackberry and black currant aromas. The palate is jammy showing deep black plum and bright boysenberry pie. The tannins are big. There is plenty of acidity here. A crowd pleaser. 88
Male: Very intriguing mix of us exotic spice and fruit. The palate shows lots of oak at first but black plum and cassis flavors emerge with sandalwood, eucalyptus and Asian spice as interesting accents. Great structure and balance. This wine will age gracefully. 92
Stella Monsi 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $50.00
50 cases produced
Female: A righteous nose of black currant, leather, and molasses. Lovely, well-built wine with dark cherry/plum jam flavors – meaty with hints bacon, awesome cigar leaf, and good coffee accents. Smoky chipotle peppers jump in on the long finish. “Draws you in and keeps unfolding.” 90
Male: Black cherry, black raspberry, tea leaves, and vanilla bean aromas jump from the glass and replicate on the palate. Rich and viscous in the mouth. Lush licorice with hints of menthol and cocoa join in on the fantastic finish. “Will age beautifully!” 91
Stella Monsi 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain, $90.00
25 cases produced
Female: Cigar box, leather, and a bit of barnyard over dark black fruit aromas. Beautiful and inviting. Almost silky on the palate – shows dark fruit. Well integrated with the judicious use of oak. 92
Male: Dramatic black fruit and spice vanilla in the nose. Beautifully proportioned palate of fruit and tannins with a silky finish that invites you back for another taste. 92
Sunset 2005 Sun Ray Newsom Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Texas High Plains, $22.95
360 cases produced
Female: Caramel, and dark mocha aromas lead to a palate of dark fruit with espresso notes on the finish. Nice acidity. “This wine is from where? Lovely wine.” 87
Male: They and blackberry on the nose. This is a lovely blend of blackberry, cassis, tea, and cigar box. Elegant and seamless. Balanced finish. 88
Talcott Ridge Wines 2008 Single Vineyard Ink Grade Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain, $48.00
25 cases produced
Female: Raspberry and black cherry aromas are replicated on entry. Sour cherry flavors with a touch of menthol join mid-palate. Nice acid on the finish. 87
Male: Cranberry and black fruit with smoky undertones on the nose. Black cherry and mocha flavors are joined mid-palate by young tannins that should develop well in the bottle going forward. 87

Thomas Henry 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $20.00
1100 cases produced
Female: Aromas of raspberry and citrus on the nose translate to bright red fruit in the mouth. Black tea and tarragon on the finish. Nice balancing acid. 87
Male: Dried berries and dried red Apple aromatics arise from the glass. Raspberries and red stone fruit on the palate with tannins that are drying now but should evolve nicely. There is plenty of fruit to carry aging. 86
Timark Wines 2008 Neal3 Cabernet Sauvignon
St Helena, $55.00
25 cases produced
Female: Vanilla and red cherry on the nose with some nice barnyard notes. Cherry and black cherry flavors on entry quickly followed by big tooth coating tannins. Then the fruit is there…needs time for the tannins to tame. 87
Male: Medium garnet as the wine pours. Nice wine! It’s got it all. Black fruit, smoke, and earth in the nose with some nice barrel toast elements. The palate is precise. Nice balance of fruit and tannin. The finish is longer than expected. Should continue to age nicely. 88
Trinitas Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Oakville, $50.00
2340 cases produced
Female: Lots of red fruit and baking spices here in the nose and on the mouth. A healthy dose of oak tames this fruit bomb. A real crowd pleaser. 87
Male: Understated aromas of black cherry and Asian spice. Solid middle fruit. The tannins are slightly aggressive lots of fruit to carry. 87
Triumph 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
St Helena, $55.00
1000 cases produced
Female: Lovely strawberry jam aromas arise from the glass. Light strawberry flavors on entry. Mouthwatering acid. Very pleasant. Not be and bold but great with food. 88
Male: Aromatics of black cherry, graham cracker, and a slight bit of band-Aid. Medium fruit. Nice finish. 87
Triumvir 2008 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $59.00
25 cases produced
Female: Cedar aromas with a hint of peppermint. Round and full on the palate with cherry, cigar box, and pepper notes. Nice fruit at the core. 88
Male: Elegant nose of cassis and black cherry. Smooth in the mouth replicating the dark fruit with added elements of leather, cedar, and a hint of spice. Light tannins at the finish. Easy drinking. 87
Turning Leaf 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
California, $8.00
170000 cases produced
Female: Lovely dark cherry fruit on the nose and the palate. The tannins complement the cherry flavors. Simple and easy to enjoy. 86
Male: Red fruits, plum, black cherries, herbs, and brambly aromas arise from the glass. The fruit forward palate confirms the red fruit. Judicious use of oak. Nicely balanced acid. “This wine is how much?” 88

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate Caton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $44.00
583 cases produced
Female: Beautiful dark plum, blackberry, and mocha aromas invite you in. Lush dark fruit with great acid and layers of complex spice. With great acid and layers of complex spice. Yum! 92
Male: Big ripe plum and coffee on the nose…very inviting. Dense black currant and anise combine on the palate. Ripe notes on the finish with plenty of tannin and acid to carry. 90

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate – Caton Cabernet Collection Caton Vineyard – Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $49.00
45 cases produced
Female: Ripe plummy aromas lead to juicy red plum and pomegranate on entry. The tannins are mouth puckering but the fruit persists. Good structure. Black pepper on the finish. This is just a baby. Will improve with time. Lay down a few bottles for years to come. 90
Male: Very deep garnet color. The nose is dominated by oak, showing licorice, anise, and herb notes. Beautiful fruit on the palate with predominantly dark cherry fruit joined by currant, cassis and herbs. Add to the complexity. Nicely integrated tannins and long finish. 92

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate – Caton Cabernet Collection Caton Vineyard – Terraces Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $49.00
45 cases produced
Female: Toasty, in fact, toast with boysenberry jam on the nose. Flavors reflect the nose on entry evolving to some sour cherry notes mid-palate with edgy notes on the finish. Needs time, but will be fabulous. 89
Male: Warm mocha and black raspberry aromas deliver a palate that is rich with fruit, deftly surrounded with oak. Nice! 90

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate – Caton Cabernet Collection Caton Vineyard – Arroyo Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $49.00
45 cases produced
Female: The nose is elusive and then opens to warm cherry and smoky aromas. Cherry pie flavors on the palate with backnotes of chocolate and dried fig throughout. Sour cherry notes show through on the finish. The texture is appealing with fine-grained tannins. Nicely balanced wine. 90
Male: Pleasant floral and berry nose. Seamless balance of blackberry, cedar, earth, and coffee. An elegant wine with a balanced finish. 90

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate – Caton Cabernet Collection Caton Vineyard – Upper Bench Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $49.00
45 cases produced
Female: This is just a baby! The nose is tight red fruit showing through. Red fruit and cigar box notes throughout. Interesting. Very tannic now. Will get better with time. 87
Male: Black fruit and plum on the nose and in the mouth. Good middle fruit. Well structured. This is so young that it’s not showing its full potential. It should get better and better with time. 87

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate – Caton Cabernet Collection Caton Vineyard – Big Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $49.00
45 cases produced
Female: Beautifully balanced wine. Cherry sour cherry in the nose and in the mouth. I want to watch this wine mature. Buy a number of bottles and drink them over the next five years or more and watch them evolve. 90
Male: Toast, vanilla, and spicy cherry aromatics. Soft, long middle and a complex finish. Nice! 90

Ty Caton Vineyards 2009 Estate – Caton Cabernet Collection Caton Vineyard – Barracks Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $49.00
45 cases produced
Female: Cherry pie and brown baking spices on the nose. The flavors are surprising and pleasing, darker and blacker than expected. Beautifully balanced. Very nice! 89
Male: Classic Cabernet. Black fruit with some forest notes in the glass. Rich and dark berry flavors with rhubarb accents. Solid and well integrated tannins. 88
Valley of the Moon Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $18.00
5500 cases produced
Female: Leather, tobacco, coffee, and dried fruit – interesting nose. Jammy dried fruit with pine and licorice on the palate. Nice! 89
Male: Inviting aromas of chocolate and toasty bread lead to earthy black fruit with foresty accents in the mouth. Nicely balanced. 89
VGS 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, $75.00
425 cases produced
Female: Sandalwood, brown baking spices, and black pepper jump from the glass. Intense black cherry, cherry pie, and cassis flavors. A lovely example of elegance and finesse in a bottle. Nicely layered palate. “Polished…like the Queen of England always wearing gloves and a hat.” Not a big finish. But nicely balanced. 93
Male: Aromas black currant, caramel, cassis, and mint. The aromas are replicated on the palate with the addition of tea leaves and herbs over the mid-palate. Nice velvety mouthfeel. Lush and dynamic with a touch of heat on the long finish. 91
Vintage Sun 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendoza, Argentina, $8.99
Female: The fruit driven nose shows cherry and black cherry. Lush dark fruit with nice oak elements and balanced acid. 87
Male: Dark fruit throughout. Simple. 84
VJB Vineyards & Cellars 2008 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, $46.00
150 cases produced
Female: The aromas are fruity with a dusty accent. Lean and clean with alcohol notes apparent. Berry and cherry flavors meld with tobacco on the tart finish. 90
Male: Pretty in the glass with the color showing some age at the rim. Excellent structure showing leather, licorice, blackberry pie, dried herbs, and cassis. Earthy mushroom and cranberry join mid-palate in this complex wine. 92
Warwick, First Lady 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Stellenbosch, South Africa, $16.99
10000 cases produced
Female: Cedar, with dark red fruit and a hint of jalapeno on the nose. The palate is earthy with light red fruit on entry. Black tea mid-through the finish. 84
Male: Cigar box and leather, with black currants and celery on the nose. Black tea, light cranberry, and earth on the palate. Coffee notes mid. 84
Westport Winery 2009 Charterboat Chick’s Cabernet Sauvignon
Washington State, $27.00
130 cases produced
Female: Light cherry with green pepper notes on the nose. Cranberry with orange accents in the mouth. Anise on the finish. 82
Male: Cedar, light cherry, and green pepper aromatic. Lean cranberry and rhubarb on the palate. A hint of licorice and bay leaf on the finish. 83
Whalebone Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $35.00
548 cases produced
Female: Rich chocolate, dark fruit, and leather from start to finish. A lot of nice acidity here. 88
Male: Cocoa, tea, and chocolate open to a soft, supple palate showing bright red cherry and strawberry fruit. 89
Whalebone Winery 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, $45.00
400 cases produced
Female: The nose is earthy and fruity with anise notes. Dried cherry and red currant flavors mildly accented with spice and earth notes. 90
Male: The nose is complex with chocolate, vanilla, tobacco leaf, pomegranate, and Asian spices. The entry is juicy with red fruits and rhubarb pie flavors. Earthy, chalky and a flinty minerality join mid-palate finishing with lovely chocolate accents. 90
Winery-SF 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
North Coast, $24.99
250 cases produced
Female: Cherry, black cherry, and a touch of blueberry too. Bright fruit then sour cherry. Mouthwatering acidity. The grape tannins are really nice. I like! 91
Male: inviting raspberry, black cherry, and rhubarb create a dramatic fruit-filled aromatic. Cherry, plum, and light brown spice on the palate. 87

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Cabernet Franc

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2009 Estate Cabernet Franc
Alexander Valley, $24.00
1379 cases produced
Female: Aromas of black cherry and a touch of lavender. Nice acid. Nicely balanced. Fruit is appropriately lush and varietally correct. 89
Male: Lovely soft finessed aromas. Black fruit and spice. All there on a tightly wound palate. 87
Barboursville Vineyards 2009 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Virginia, $22.99
1730 cases produced
Female: Barnyard aromas on opening move towards tobacco and black currant. This is a youthful wine with dark fruit and black licorice flavors. The tannins are still aggressive, but enough fruit to carry to maturity. 87
Male: Interesting. I’m expecting some green pepper here but I’m not picking it up. Ripe red berry aromas and flavors with caramel notes throughout. 87
Boete 2006 Estate Reserve Saunders Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Carmel Valley, $40.00
131 cases produced
Female: Cherry pipe tobacco aromas arise from the glass. Cherry vanilla flavors with nice caramelized notes on the finish. The of acidity on the finish makes this wine great to pair with food. 87
Male: Dark and rich in the glass with plummy fruit on the nose. Nice cherry fruit flavors with cedar on the finish. 86
Briar Rose 2005 Private Reserve Collection Cabernet Franc
Temecula Valley, $120.00
225 cases produced
Female: A classic Cabernet Franc nose showing beautiful blueberry and floral aromas. Ripe fruit on the palate on entry. Big tannins kick-in mid-palate. The fruit and acid come up to greet and balance the tannins. 88
Male: Spiced ripe blueberry with roasted coffee aromatics lead to a lush and rich fruit profile surrounded by big tannins that coat your teeth. The acids kick-in and the finish is long and lush. 90
Briar Rose 2004 Cabernet Franc
Temecula Valley, $42.00
280 cases produced
Female: Cedar and cigar box frame black cherry on the nose. In the mouth, black cherry and a touch of blueberry is accented with layers of cocoa and mocha. Nice acidity on the finish. 88
Male: The wild black cherry and raspberry aromas are accented by cedar and black pepper notes. The mid-palate is complex with cherry, black cherry and cassis. Lingering spice on the long finish. Soft but adequate tannins. 88
Buttonwood Farm 2008 Estate Grown Cabernet Franc
Santa Ynez Valley, $22.00
345 cases produced
Female: Violets, plum, leather and dried herbs in the glass. Lovely plum fruit with tobacco and earth notes on the finish. 87
Male: Blueberry jam aromas lead to nice round blueberry fruit that is well integrated with the oak treatment. Soft deft finish. 88
Chateau Felice 2008 Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Chalk Hill, $29.00
110 cases produced
Female: Plum and mocha on the nose. Very inviting. The palate is more tannic than I expected but that dark fruit is just waiting to arise. This baby needs time. 86
Male: Green notes with red fruit and light floral aromas. The profile is lean but varietally correct. This would be great with a margarita pizza. 87
Fernwood Cellars 2008 Estate Bates Ranch Cabernet Franc
Santa Cruz Mountains, $38.00
200 cases produced
Female: Blackberry, dark plum, violets, and coffee aromas and flavors. Tarragon notes on the finish. 86
Male: Cigar box, cedar, and leather on the nose. The palate is light and easy to drink. A simple well-made wine. 86
Gershon Bachus Erato 2008 Estate GBV De Portola Trail Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Temecula Valley, $45.00
163 cases produced
Female: Red fruit with back notes of green pepper and dill on the nose. Ripe red black fruit on the palate. Finish is a bit short. 86
Male: Aromatics of stewed tomatoes with pomegranate and olives. Juicy middle nice black fruit. Interesting. 88
Helena View Johnston Vineyards 1999 Estate Johnston Vineyards Cabernet Franc
Calistoga, $42.00
180 cases produced
Female: A mature wine. At least 10 years old? Black licorice, forest floor, and milk chocolate notes on the nose is in the mouth. Distinct licorice flavors on the finish. Nice acidity. Nice wine. Drink soon. 87
Male: “I don’t love the aromatics here. Obviously an older wine. Some decent fruit but should be enjoyed soon.” 84
Kenefick Ranch 2007 Estate Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Franc
Calistoga AVA, $52.00
747 cases produced
Female: Inviting aromatics… earthy, dark berry, beautifully expressive. On the palate, the firm tannins are balanced with layers of berry and herbs with a touch of graphite. Well structured. 91
Male: Put your nose in the glass and there is an immediate hit of red fruit…pomegranate, cranberry, boysenberry, blueberry, with a touch of cedar. Blueberry and black fruit flavors with a bit of citrus and great spice, length, and acidity. 90
La Craie Euphoria 2007 Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Chalk Hill, $49.00
90 cases produced
Female: Caramel notes open to strawberry and dark berry aromas. Cherry and black cherry flavors throughout. Good use of oak. 87
Male: Elegant looking in the glass. Mint and mocha aromas. The core of bold and rich fruit is deftly surrounded and well integrated with the oak elements. Lovely, complex finish. 89

Lucas & Lewellen 2007 Valley View Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Santa Barbara County, $28.00
136 cases produced
Female: Cola and vanilla on the nose. Tart cherry with espresso note flavors from start to finish. Light and bright cherry joins mid-palate. 87
Male: Anise and black pepper aromas open to soft cherry fruit. The wine is consistent from start to finish. 86
Pollak 2009 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Monticello, Virginia, $30.00
124 cases produced
Female: Aromas of green pepper, forest floor, and light red fruit greet you. Light red fruit on entry opens to dark fruit with lots of coffee and spice notes which hang in and through the finish. This is a great example of what Virginia wines, especially Cabernet Franc, can be. 88
Male: Forest floor with touches of eucalyptus and cranberry aromas lead to a well proportioned palate of plum and cassis. Finishes with a nice combination of tannin and acid. 88
Pollak 2009 Cabernet Franc
Monticello, $20.00
314 cases produced
Female: Lavender on the nose with a touch of cherry too. Cherry and dried herbs notes in the mouth. Simple but lovely. 87
Male: Violet, and anise rise from the glass. Soft and delicate fruit over the mid-palate. The finish is simple. 86
Troon Vineyard 2009 Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc
Applegate Valley AVA, $35.00
250 cases produced
Female: Violets and dried cherry on the nose. Complex layers of dark fruit – blue, red, and black with beautiful accents of vanilla and mocha. 90
Male: White pepper and mint frame cherry and rhubarb on the aromatic. Lovely balance and complexity on the palate with a combination of cherry, blueberry, and dusty tannins that work with bright acidity on the finish. 90

William James Cellars 2009 Rancho Verano Cabernet Franc
Paso Robles, $28.00
56 cases produced
Female: Cherry with violets and barnyard notes on the nose. Palate replicates the aromas. Pleasant and simple with nice acidity on the finish. 86
Male: Aromas of light cherry accented by violets and vanilla carry through onto the palate. Red fruit with dried flower backnotes. Good acidity on the finish. 87

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Cabernet Blend and Meritage

Antucura 2004 Cabernet Blend
Mendoza, Argentina, $49.99
1000 cases produced
Female: This is obviously a wine with some age on it. Burnt caramel aromas, the alcohol is still very prominent. Black cherry flavors on entry. Black tea notes on the juicy mid-palate, black cherry fruit. Tobacco on the finish. Still lots of oak and tannins. Very interesting! 88
Male: Dark cherry color in the glass. Fernlike aromatics showing anise, earth, and forest floor. There is a sweet tar-like quality to the dark fruit. Moves to a smooth and simple finish. 87
Barboursville Vineyards 2007 Octagon Cabernet Blend
Virginia, $39.99
1650 cases produced
Female: “This appears to be a very young wine.” Forest floor and dark coffee aromatics are replicated on the palate where they surround and almost overpower the black fruit for. This wine needs time to mature and show full potential. 87
Male: Wow! Earth, mushrooms, eucalyptus, blackberry, and raspberry aromas. The earth and some mineral elements are prominent on the palate with a red fruit at the core. 87
Bellarina Meritage 2008 Cabernet Blend
Knights Valley, $20.00
790 cases produced
Female: Herbal aromas lead to black cherry and a touch oak on the palate. Fresh herbs and teas spice notes add to the complexity of the round and pleasing palate. 90
Male: The nose is complex. There is an intriguing bit of navel orange leading to guava, blueberry, chocolate, and cola with sage, rosemary, and dried fennel seed accents. Coffee and plum flavors on the palate with a citrus component that is surprising. The acidity is appealing. A good food wine. 90
Blind Dog Wines Blind Dog Cuvee Cabernet Blend
Paso Robles, $15.00
750 cases produced
Female: Attractive raspberry and cigar with a hint of pine. Bright cherry fruit and raspberry jam flavors keep it lively. Sour cherry on the finish showing the nice acid. Really pretty! 90
Male: Light berry and cedar on the nose. Warm black cherry and cocoa with a hint of licorice on the tart palate. Nicely rounded on the finish. 89

Blue Rock 2009 Baby Blue ~ Blue Rock Vineyard Cabernet Blend
Alexander Valley, $25.00
1580 cases produced
Female: Cassis and black cherry with anise accents on the nose. Nice density of currant and cherry remain consistent on the palate with spice and fresh tobacco notes completing the nicely crafted package. Pleasing finish. 90
Male: Clear garnet in color. Earthy nose with cedar and plum notes. Good acidity. The tannins are not off-putting on this youthful wine. Plum and tobacco flavors continue onto the palate and stay through the fairly long finish. 90
Bob Wine 2007 Cabernet Blend
Paso Robles, $30.00
558 cases produced
Female: Cedar and wine incense lift from the glass. Nice and inviting arousing the senses. Lively with good acid showing juicy berries and smooth dark ganache and hazelnuts on the finish. “Lots of Cabernet Franc and Merlot?” 89
Male: Black pepper, licorice/anise, and some floral notes in the nose. Some heat shows in the nose and on the palate. Full ripe cherry and plum jam flavors. “This wine is fruit and oak centric and shows more alcohol than I would like.” 85
Boete 2006 Cheval Rouge Saunders Vineyard Cabernet Blend
Carmel Valley, $30.00
280 cases produced
Female: The nose speaks Bordeaux showing barnyard, dark fruit, tobacco, coffee and chocolate. Black fruit on the palate is obscured by the tannins at first but then opens to reveal a very nice wine. 87
Male: Black currant, chocolate, coffee� great nose! The palate is lush and fruit forward showing black and red fruit with white pepper on the finish. Well-balanced and all around delightful. 90
BOXWOOD 2009 Estate Cabernet Blend
Virginia, $25.00
300 cases produced
Female: Cigar box, leather, and mushroom aromatics. Definitely not a California style. Attractive sour red fruit flavors with bowl tannins and a long finish. 84
Male: Deep blood red in color. Sweet grape jelly aromas with a soft opening, rich middle, good tannins, and a good solid finish. 86
BOXWOOD WINERY 2009 Topiary Estate Cabernet Blend
Virginia, $25.00
1000 cases produced
Female: This is a lovely Cabernet Franc blend. Full on dark berry notes on the nose with blackberry flavors on entry quickly turning to sour berries on the palate. A bit prickly with nice acid showing through. The tannins hang in there the finish 87
Male: Black currant, tobacco, stewed black cherry, and definitely some Bretty characteristics (horsey and a bit stinky). Very dark chocolate and briary black fruit flavors with touches of leather and dried meat. Nice chalky tannins. Balanced and interesting even though nose is a bit stinky. “I was excited to find this was a wine from Virginia.” 87
Buttonwood Trevin 2007 Estate Grown Cabernet Blend
Santa Ynez Valley, $36.00
273 cases produced
Female: Garnet in color. The nose is classic for a Bordeaux blend – blackberry, beets, rhubarb, and pine forest. Big rich in the mouth. Well-integrated with a very nice finish. 88
Male: The nose is faint but the palate is big and robust through the finish. Cassis, leather, coffee, blackberry, cedar…I could go on and on. 90
Canine Wines 2007 Meritage
Napa Valley, $54.00
50 cases produced
Female: One of our judges wrote, “Cherries jubilee in the nose. Cassis, blueberry, and mint. Nice layering of flavors with a hint pepper. Lots of plush leather arm chairs and fine cigars… This wine tastes like the library at the Harvard Crimson Club.” 91
Male: Cigar box, chocolate, cedar, deep red and black currant fruit. Lush texture – velvety cherry and currant flavor. Great length. Excellent balance. Lovely wine! 90
CYRUS 2007 Estate Cabernet Blend
Alexander Valley, $60.00
2900 cases produced
Female: Menthol, cigar box, and bright cherry on the nose introduces this wine. Complex layers of coffee, green olive, leather, dark chocolate, cherry, and blueberries are delivered throughout. Good masculine structure deftly sculpted. Great balance of acid, fruit, herbs, and fine tannin. “This is a novel worth reading.” 92
Male: The enticing cherry, berry nose replicates on the palate with vibrancy. There is a brambly character here. The flavors of red and black currants and the minerally notes bespeak hillside or mountain fruit. Maintains the same level of intensity from the aromatic nose to the long finish. Elegant and very sophisticated. “Very much my style.” Age worthy too. 94
Ecluse Wines 2009 Ensemble Cabernet Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00
98 cases produced
Female: Plum, black currant, clove, and vanilla bean aromatics weave together on this pretty, intriguing wine. Black plum, clove, and allspice flavors entry to mid-palate where the tannins take over. “It’s just a baby. Lay this baby down and you will be rewarded in a year or two.” 87
Male: Garnet in color, looks dark and extracted and as it pours into the glass. Black currant, char, and tobacco aromas. Juicy blackberry and Cassis flavors are masked on the back palate with the tannins. Nice time. 88
Ehret Family Winery 2007 Bella’s Blend Cabernet Blend
Knights Valley, $40.00
528 cases produced
Female: Deep and dark aromas and flavors draw me in like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. Lighter on the palate than expected. Nice acid on the finish. 87
Male: Black fruit, brown spice with a hint of dill. Medium fruit with nice tannins and a lingering finish. 87
Hahn Winery 2009 Meritage
Central Coast, $18.00
16907 cases produced
Female: There is a touch of blueberry on the nose and in the mouth – very connected. Pretty. A real crowd pleaser! 89
Male: Cherry with a touch of vanilla on the nose. The palate is super elegant, smooth with soft tannins, fine balance, crisp acidity, and a long finish. 91
Helena View Chateau Classic 2005 Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $29.95
600 cases produced
Female: Here is a wine with some age on it. Cinnamon notes accent the cranberry and pomegranate aromas. Light red fruit on entry. Soft in the mouth. Soft finish. 86
Male: Mushroom and lavender aromatics. The fruit is light with hints of dried flowers. Short finish. 85
Indigene Cellars 2007 Philanthropist Cabernet Blend
Central Coast, $21.00
350 cases produced
Female: Cigar box aromas open on airing to a myriad light red fruits. The palate is lovely with raspberry and cherry flavors accented by brown baking spices. Delicious! 90
Male: Restrained aromatics that invite you to explore further. Light raspberry and cherry framed by brown spice with a hint of mint on the palate which is well-proportioned between fruit and spice. Soft tannins with citrus notes on the finish. A lovely wine. 90
Kenefick Ranch 2006 Pickett Road Red Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Blend
Calistoga AVA, $55.00
496 cases produced
Female: The nose is elusive. Dark black fruit flavors with black pepper back notes. Heavy tannins kick in mid-to late. Intense. 87
Male: Crimson in color. BlackBerry and Cassis aromas. Be bold opening with a robust middle. Intense layers. Light touch of mocha on the finish. 87
La Castellana 2008 Reserve Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $68.00
1634 cases produced
Female: “This is a scrappy Cabernet blend. I’m guessing there’s a lot of Cabernet Franc and a bit of Petite Verdot here.” It has juniper and pine tar throughout with black cherry flavors. Powerful with a good tannin structure. 87
Male: Chocolate, black pepper, raspberry aromas. Some red fruit flavors with chocolate powder, cocoa, and mouth coating powdery tannins throughout. 84
Maier Family 2007 Saint Helena Road Vineyards Meritage
Sonoma County, $34.00
650 cases produced
Female: “I get a touch of heat immediately on the nose, then rhubarb and some green herbal notes. Tart red fruit flavors and black tea on the finish. Oak tannins are quite prominent but this wine should age nicely.” 86
Male: Green herb aromatics black fruit flavors. Simple. 85
Marianna 2009 Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $40.00
1000 cases produced
Female: Cherry soda aromas lead to a round palate. A berry driven wine. Black cherry and cassis define the flavor profile. The oak is nicely integrated. 88
Male: The enticing nose shows root beer float, black currant, cassis, cedar, and leather. In the mouth, blackberry dominates. Nice bright acidity balances the mouth coating tannins. Nice finish. 90
Martin Ray Winery 2007 Synthesis Reserve Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $75.00
250 cases produced
Female: Aromas of cherry, vanilla, and milk chocolate make way for the juicy wild berry and cherry palate with a cola thread weaving throughout. Acidity level balances the round fruit. Lighter bodied style. 89
Male: Wow! Nice herb, black currant, earth, cherry, and tobacco on the nose. Nice depth of flavors with earthy, dried basil, and oregano accenting the thick currant fruit. Red currant and a hint of cocoa and oak join the palate creating a balanced and refined finish. 91
Miner Family Winery 2007 The Oracle Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $90.00
2169 cases produced
Female: Earthy notes rise from the glass. Black currant and black cherry flavors mingle nicely with spicy earth notes and tobacco. Firm tannins suggest cellar aging will be beneficial. Well-balanced, nice oak integration. Lovely lingering finish. 93
Male: The lively nose is very fruit forward with currant and black cherry aromas promising a lot of fruit and…it delivers. Dark berries, chewy tannins, and a long finish. Nice wine! 91
Mount Aukum Winery 2007 BDX Cabernet Blend
El Dorado, $26.00
184 cases produced
Female: Barnyard aromas lead to a dense and dark fruity palate. 84
Male: Port like aromas of dense black fruit. Consistent on the palate. 84
Penman Springs Vineyard 2008 Meritage
Paso Robles, $24.00
290 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and a touch of green olive on the nose. Green olive comes through on the palate as a positive layer that enhances the dark fruit. Nice balance, cleansing acid, and neater tannins. Smooth and lovely. 90
Male: The nose reminds me of Christmas showing cinnamon, clove, cedar, sandalwood, red currant, and pomegranate. The palate shows lots of fruit to support the oak. Nice balance. 88
Perrucci Family 2008 Mescolanza Cabernet Blend
Santa Cruz Mountains, $18.00
300 cases produced
Female: The nose draws you in…blackberry, black cherry, and a myriad of spices. The aromas replicate on entry with cherry compote flavors taking the lead mid-palate. Nice acid on the finish. 89
Male: The cherry, raspberry nose shows bright fruity aromas with baking spice accents. The palate mirrors the nose with a port-like note mid. Soft tannins. Firm structure with a long, vibrant finish. 91
Pollak 2008 Cabernet Blend
Monticello, $24.00
401 cases produced
Female: Plum and dark cherry with green pepper notes on the nose. The palate is consistent with the aromas. The acid finish is quite intense. Needs food to rein it in so all will shine. 85
Male: Deep crimson in color, with sweet blueberry aromas highlighted with slightly burned toasted bread notes. Medium bodied. Pleasant. 86
pureCoz 2007 Red Wine Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $55.00
350 cases produced
Female: Slightly medicinal but appealing aromas. Light fruit entry with the fruit. Getting darker and deeper as the palate progresses. Some coffee notes on the finish. 88
Male: Steely, minerally aromatics. Fresh raspberry on entry turning darker and lusher mid-to late. 87
Reynolds 2007 Persistence Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $50.00
1642 cases produced
Female: Fruity aromas of boysenberry and black cherry are inviting and expand fully on the palate. Nice acidity balances the full fruit. There is a bit of heat here, the alcohol shows through. Lovely spice kicks in on the finish. 89
Male: Garnet in color. Vanilla, currant, allspice, and tobacco, with some nice meaty aromas lead to the fruit forward palate with plum and black cherries, taking the lead. A good solid wine with all of the components in balance. Nice finish showing the well-integrated tannins. 91
Sunset 2004 Vintner’s Reserve Barrel Select Newsom Vineyard Cabernet Blend
Texas High Plains, $39.95
70 cases produced
Female: Tobacco and Eucalyptus at first sniff open to dark fruit aromas and flavors turning sour mid-to-late. I think this needs food but what? How about some Texas barbecue? 86
Male: Aromatics of coffee and spice with ripe black fruit. Chewy middle of balanced fruit and tannins. Nice acid. 87
Symbiotic Terra Bella Cabernet Blend
California, $20.00
47 cases produced
Female: The nose is a surprise. I expected Cabernet type aromas and Zinfandel is prominent. The palate is sweet, the Zin wins out again. A lovely wine. I would rate it higher in a Zinfandel competition. 86
Male: Definitely different. Zinfandel shows through. Cherry and raspberry combine in an aromatic with notes of vanilla and graham cracker. Chocolate black pepper and both red and black fruit on the palate. Young tannins balanced by nice acidity. Interesting wine. Fun food wine. That would be great with BBQ. My score would’ve been higher, but does not quite fit the Cabernet blend category. 86
VGS Explorer 2007 The Illegitimate Cabernet Blend
Napa Valley, $37.00
150 cases produced
Female: Santa Rosa plum on the nose. Sweet and juicy on entry showing cherry almost cherry soda flavors then moving to sour cherry with tarragon notes on the finish. Interesting wine needs more time to show its full potential. 87
Male: Ruby in color. Cherry, Oak, vanilla, baking spices, and Earth notes lift from the glass. The flavors repeated on the palate. The high alcohol detracts flavors. 85
Westport Winery 2009 Jetty Cat Red Cabernet Blend
Washington State, $25.00
365 cases produced
Female: Red and black cherry aromas are replicated on the palate. This is a wine that is easy to enjoy. 84
Male: Fresh plum and light cherry combine in a simple but inviting aromatic. Flavors of light raspberry, cherry, earth, and celery seed move to a soft finish with lively acids. Simple yet enjoyable. 84

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Other

Westport Winery 2009 Smokey Nor’Wester Rosé of Cabernet Franc
Washington State, $25.00
148 cases produced
Female: Earthy, dried cherry aromas. Nicely dry. This is a lean food friendly wine. 85
Male: Strawberry and raspberry compote aromas lead to a fresh, lively palate. Full mouth feel. 85

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