Everyday Cabernet

Mo Wine Please

Cabernet Sauvignon is my very favorite varietal.  But the big Napa Cabs often come with a big price tag. Not necessarily everyone’s idea of everyday wines.

So I’m always delighted when I come across great values.

First up:

2012 Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon

(Paso Robles)

2012 Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon

The Paso Robles AVA (American Viticulture Area) is located in San Luis Obispo County, about halfway between Santa Barbara and Monterey, California.

As recently as 1990 there were only 20 wineries in Paso Robles. Now the number is more like 200+.

Obviously there must be something wonderful in the water – well, actually, in the dirt.

Originally known for Zinfandel, Paso Robles started planting Cabernet Sauvignon by the 1960s.

At only about $14 per bottle, the 2012 Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles is a bargain.

This wine brings some of the classic California flavors of dark fruit with a hint of chocolate. It has enough body to be respectable and tasted even better on Day 2 after being open for 24 hours.

The 2012 Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a gold medal at the 2014 Central Coast Wine Competition and a silver medal at the 2014 California State Fair. Pretty high praise, eh?


2011 Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon

(Columbia Valley)

2011 Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon

The Columbia Valley AVA is located in the Columbia River Plateau in Central Washington, dipping just a tiny bit into Northern Oregon.

The area includes over a hundred thousand acres, representing about 99% of the planted vineyard acreage in Washington.

The variety of micro-climates in this area lends itself to wines ranging from Pinot Gris to Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Columbia Valley is located at approximately the same latitude as some of the prime European wine growing regions. Columbia Valley wines boast wines expressing the best qualities of California wines and European wines.

The 2012 Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon (under $20 per bottle) features a spicy fruitiness. A little pepper, a little tobacco and a little chocolate balance out this reasonably priced gem. It has a pretty decent finish, as well.

Earning a gold medal and score of 92 points at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition, this wine would be a great choice for your everyday Cabernet,

A Few Oldies, But Goodies…

2009 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon

Maddalena is another great, moderately priced Cabernet from Paso Robles. I mentioned the 2009 vintage here. The 2010 is on the shelves now at about $10 per bottle.

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon

Liberty School, another great Paso Robles Cabernet, has an excellent lineage which I talked about here. Between the quality of the growing area and the quality of the winemaker at Liberty School, you will not be disappointed in the $12ish bottle of wine.

2012 Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon

I previously reviewed the 2012 Leese-Fitch Cabernet here. It was a delicious pairing with Guinness Beef Stew. Look for the 2013 vintage on the shelves now. Leese-Fitch has a reputation of, year after year, producing a Cabernet Sauvignon that tastes way above its $10-$12 price.

How about you? Do you have a “House Cabernet”?

Designated driver, Uber or cab

No one paid me to say this.

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  1. Mo.. last weekend we had a dinner party and everyone drank red except me! I bookmarked this for the next party. Have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks, Mo. I drink red when the weather turns cool. Or if, this year. These look great

  3. I will pass along these suggestions to my cab-loving husband. Thank you, Mo!

  4. i think wine is exploding everywhere! even in our own podunk piddly nowhere town, there are a few wineries. and in oakland and berkeley, they’re popping up like weeds! zin is my favorite varietal, but cabs are probably 2nd for me. but good wine is good wine regardless of varietal! i’m just as happy with an amazing chardonnay as an amazing zin. my favorite winery in paso robles is turley.
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