Napa Cabernet Suggestions

Hello All,

I've been enjoying some Zin's as of late and wanted to dip my toe into some Californian Cabernet's. I am looking for some suggestions for some reasonably priced wines with the capability to age. I've noticed many wineries pack their wine into cases of 12 however i much prefer 6's.

Also, are there any UK Merchants that have particularly good selections from California?

Any suggestions are more than welcome.

Many thanks
 
Roberson have more of what were the new wave producers, but are recommended and many wines sold individually, get on their list to see some more specialised offers and regular sales
the wine treasury are also worth a look with quite a large range but I’ve never purchased from them
 
The Cabs can be rather pricey for the good ones but there should be decent enough options. On the Zin front Ridge Geyserville and Lytton are great and age extremely well. Put them away for 10-20 years.
Are you looking for pure Cabs from Napa or blends and further away. (Washington state / somoma etc)

snowden ranch is good though needs age and is circa £50 or less.
Mayacamas similar
Chappellet signature and Bevan Ontogeny are entry level wines but pushing over £50 . Napanook maybe.

Syrah, Cooler Pinot are plentiful.
 
George, climate change and the fact many Napa Cabs are made to be drunk on release means 15% alcohol is the norm rather than the exception.

The same applies to most all California Zinfandel, so if you like Zin maybe the higher alcohol cabs won't be a problem.
 
George, climate change and the fact many Napa Cabs are made to be drunk on release means 15% alcohol is the norm rather than the exception.

The same applies to most all California Zinfandel, so if you like Zin maybe the higher alcohol cabs won't be a problem.
Yes thats why I mentioned Sonoma, Washington state or Oregon. Lots of 12.5-13% there with some sonoma vineyards having an average temperature less than burgundy. Not so much Cab in those areas, though Gramercy have a cab.

Rhone can be pretty punchy now as well, just have to be selective or share a bottle.

George what sort of budget you thinking .Four corners are great but most stuff is £50 + and more like £100
 
Not Napa but Ridge cabs are wonderful - Monte Bello is clearly glorious but the estate cabs (which can be had for 50-60) are also spectacular, and can age very well.

With that said - you pay a *big* premium for cali wines in general - excepting the Ridge wines, I tend to feel that at any price point you can get better bordeaux, and definitely better ZA.
 
Just thinking that, as a Maida Vale resident, there used to be a real USA specialist just there. Were they called The Winery? I presume they've shut up shop.

Edit: Looks like they might still be there. I'd go in and have a word.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I would look at the current cellar contents of the former North America correspondent for Decanter and see what holdings satisfy your criteria. This you can do!

Answer: nothing.

Else ...

ignoring the price cap, you might consider Togni;

ignoring the Napa constraint and price cap, you might consider Ridge Montebello.

That seems like good (indirect) expert advice to me. The last surprising good youngish Napa I had was a Togni 1992.

Else the suggestions above by others might suffice (assuming UK availability and price ... ). Maybe look at something like Corison ... but the WS has the entry level at £70 a bottle.

Fwiw, just before lockdown last year, a Californian Cab offline at Chez Bruce provided a memorable dinner with vg food and terrible wines. I don't think it ever got written up.
I took Shafer HSS 2002, a "perfect" wine much praised by Parker and Galloni. It was as bad as I predicted it would be. On the other hand I still very much like some of the pioneering, balanced wines of the 1950's, 60's and 70's, which can still be excellent.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Problem is the good ones are pricy. The only contender I've tasted very recently (last week) is actually majority Malbec plus Cab and other Bordeaux varieties, very good but £45. Note below. There are lots of suggestions here and lots of names that are reliable, including these from my last trip a few years ago: Napa California

Trefethen, Dragon’s Tooth 2017
California, United States, Dry Red, Cork, 14.5% abv
93/100. From Napa Valley's Oak Knoll district, this is a mighty Bordeaux blend that quite unusually for this region majors on Malbec (52%), plus 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. It's a plush and hedonistic style, 18 months in barrels, 50% new, adding all the chocolate and cream. As well as the copious black fruit there's a delightful violet lift too, showing the floral side of Malbec, and the palate is as glossy as black silk, the ripe, sweet tannins and generous plummy acidity barely ruffling the surface of the deep pool of smooth black fruit and mocha. It's a wine that some may find too much, but it's also a glorious mouthful of archetypal Napa red. £45.00, see all stockists on wine-searcher.com
 
I had a 2009 Mayacamas Cab at the weekend and it was really good, Roberson bring them in but this was an older purchase a friend had made so don’t think it’s available.

I generally don’t buy anything from Napa as it’s generally overpriced and not to my taste. Santa Barbara is a bit more interesting but generally Pinot or Syrah down there
 
It would be one thing if there were good, modestly priced wines from the Napa Valley but unfortunately they are few and far between. One really has to pay a good deal more to get quality wines. I had a chance to buy Napa Valley wines early on when I first started collecting but did not buy enough. Later, US collectors and high Parker/WS scores drove up the price of Napa Valley wines. This, combined with a high US dollar, made the wines quite expensive here in Canada. Also, the stylistic changes brought about by Parker made me even less interested.

Winemakers have of course scaled things back of late but they still remain relatively high priced.
 
Hi All,

Thank you all for your responses.

In terms of price point id say £300/6 IB equivalent.

I've found a couple of options. I'm going to look to put a mixed case together and give some a try.

cheers
 
Top