34th Annual Best of The Best:
California Cabernet Sauvignon and Proprietary Red Blends
QRW Tasting Team
✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ Five-Star Wines ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
Wines of extraordinary character and quality —
in a class by themselves.
2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), $72. Ultra-concentrated, with sleek, rich, palate-coating, blackberry and sweet-oak flavors.
2013 Caymus Special Selection (Napa Valley), $160. Lush, velvety, elegantly knit, deliciously balanced, blackberry and nutty-oak-vanillin flavors. Stunning! CO-BEST OF SHOW
2013 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), $72. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Plush, elegant, well-concentrated, black fruit, cocoa and nutty oak flavors.
2013 HALL Cabernet Sauvignon (Diamond Mountain District), $160. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lush, sumptuous, elegantly knit, utterly delicious, black fruit and mocha flavors. CO-BEST OF SHOW
2013 Miner Family Emily’s Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), $50. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Big, forthright, muscular, black fruit, bell pepper and nutty oak flavors.
2013 Ridge Monte Bello (Santa Cruz Mountains), $170. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot. Big, rich, whalloping, blackberry and nutty oak flavors that cry for long cellaring.
✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ Four-Star Wines ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
Wines of outstanding character and quality —
benchmarks of their type.
2013 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), $67. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Elegantly knit, well-concentrated, richly layered, black fruit and nutty oak flavors.
2013 Corley Reserve, Napa Valley, $90. Delicious black fruit, plush, cassis, nutty, sweet oak, with lively tannins.
2013 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (Lookout Mountain Ranch/Alexander Valley), $65. Big, rich, mouth-filling—yet nicely balanced—black fruit and mocha flavors.
2013 HALL Cabernet Sauvignon “Jack’s Masterpiece” (Napa Valley), $125. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot. Big, rich, round, succulent, black fruit and nutty oak flavors.
2013 Hunt McKay Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford/Napa Valley), $125. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Plump, round, stylish, fruit-forward, blackberry and mocha flavors.
2012 J. Lohr Cuvée Pom (Paso Robles), $50. 78% Merlot, 14% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tight, taut, well-structured, black fruit and toasty oak flavors. Needs time.
2013 Peju 50/50 Red Blend (Napa Valley), $100. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. Rich, ripe, black fruit, nutty oak and mint flavors buttressed by good, firm tannins. Definitely a wine to cellar.
2013 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), $38. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Syrah. Big, sturdy, well-structured, black fruit and mocha flavors that should evolve nicely with time. BEST VALUE.