One last question in this thread, if I may.

I picked up a Beringer Knights Valley cab 2010 today at ABC for $30. They had a bunch of 2011's on top and I was about to ask about the 2010 (because that year was mentioned her specifically) and found one underneath.

Is the 11 pretty close to the 10? In other words, should I hunt around for some more 10's or try the '11 next?
Chappellet also has a lower priced bottling under the label " http://www.chappellet.com/inde...86-82a9-36b3e7f316f3 Cervantes Mountain Cuvee." We served it at our wedding and it was a big hit with everyone and should be attainable around $30. The Signature is a better wine but the Mountain cuvee is a very good wine for the price point and more approachable as a pop & pour (definitely decant the Signature).

Another that I haven't seen mentioned that is pretty good at a $25 price point is the BV Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. Like Caymus, the winery is located in Rutherford which is an area known for "Rutherford Dust" which is a reference to an earthy, dusty flavor in the wine.

At closer to a $40 price point is Frog's Leap which should hit some of those notes too. It tends to be lush--though not as lush as Caymus--and you'll get a little more of the dust note. Different but delicious in its own right.
quote:
One last question in this thread, if I may.

I picked up a Beringer Knights Valley cab 2010 today at ABC for $30. They had a bunch of 2011's on top and I was about to ask about the 2010 (because that year was mentioned her specifically) and found one underneath.

Is the 11 pretty close to the 10? In other words, should I hunt around for some more 10's or try the '11 next?


I haven't had the 2011 for that specific wine but in general 2010 was a better vintage for Napa & Sonoma. Both are cool vintages but from the sounds of it, 2011 was generally cooler and more difficult. You were right to grab the 2010 but I'd try it and make sure I like it before seeking out more. If you do, I'd reach for the 2010 if they're both available but I wouldn't necessarily avoid the 2011 without trying one first.
quote:
Originally posted by Icewino:
Something like Concha Y Toro's Marques de Casa Concha (a favorite of mine for 18 or 20 dollars) and the Montes Alpha.



These are great options as they are readily available almost everywhere and are solid year in year out for the price. At least give them a try for the price.
Heckofagator,

Just a recommendation in your original price range from Spain.....Search wide and far for the Atalaya Almansa 2010 (NOT the Atalaya Laya).

It is a blend of Grenache and Monastrell.... but it certainly is lush, rich, very perfumed, full bodied and even moderately a bit complex for about $14.

I have been drinking Chile Cabs for years and years and I like them, but this Spanish bottle might fit the profile you describe a little better actually. Catena Malbec Mendoza is very consistent, as is Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere (can be easier to drink than the Cabs)

I do buy the Chappellet Signature, Mondavi Oakville cabs regularly and am looking @ Freemark Abbey right now. Honig too.
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
If your wine budget is only $60 per month, I'd rather drink one bottle per month versus drinking a $15 bottle each week.

I do agree on attending tastings at local wine shops. It's a good way to find out what you may like or don't like.


This.

People will try to find a 'value' that tastest like Caymus but if there was a value alternative I'd drink it instead of Caymus. There isn't.
quote:
Originally posted by davec:
Hate to throw this cork into the mix, but is aroundany chance it was a Caymus Special Selection? While Caymus Cab is usually a good wine, CSS has been a wow wine for me several times, and would be much more difficult to match.


I think you can certainly match CSS at least at it's price point because there's a lot of good wine to be had for that kind of $$.
It's tougher to match if you're looking to spend less, maybe, but I would throw in Karl Lawrence here...for me, it's a similar fruit profile and oak treatment. Unfortunately, the 2010 cab is the last vintage for KL. Also at a lesser, but still premium price, I would maybe turn to Ladera Howell Mt or their Lone Canyon.
I would also throw in just the Napa Cab from Ladera as a good daily drinker for around $30 in reference to the earlier posts.
quote:
Originally posted by Bordeaux4Wino:
quote:
Originally posted by davec:
Hate to throw this cork into the mix, but is aroundany chance it was a Caymus Special Selection? While Caymus Cab is usually a good wine, CSS has been a wow wine for me several times, and would be much more difficult to match.


I think you can certainly match CSS at least at it's price point because there's a lot of good wine to be had for that kind of $$.
It's tougher to match if you're looking to spend less, maybe, but I would throw in Karl Lawrence here...for me, it's a similar fruit profile and oak treatment. Unfortunately, the 2010 cab is the last vintage for KL. Also at a lesser, but still premium price, I would maybe turn to Ladera Howell Mt or their Lone Canyon.
I would also throw in just the Napa Cab from Ladera as a good daily drinker for around $30 in reference to the earlier posts.

Honestly, I think CSS is not at all what heckofagator had, though I hope he comes back to report on progress.

Personally, I think CSS is a better $130 CA Cab than Caymus is an $80 CA Cab, though neither would be my choices at those price points.
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
quote:
Originally posted by Bordeaux4Wino:
quote:
Originally posted by davec:
Hate to throw this cork into the mix, but is aroundany chance it was a Caymus Special Selection? While Caymus Cab is usually a good wine, CSS has been a wow wine for me several times, and would be much more difficult to match.


I think you can certainly match CSS at least at it's price point because there's a lot of good wine to be had for that kind of $$.
It's tougher to match if you're looking to spend less, maybe, but I would throw in Karl Lawrence here...for me, it's a similar fruit profile and oak treatment. Unfortunately, the 2010 cab is the last vintage for KL. Also at a lesser, but still premium price, I would maybe turn to Ladera Howell Mt or their Lone Canyon.
I would also throw in just the Napa Cab from Ladera as a good daily drinker for around $30 in reference to the earlier posts.

Honestly, I think CSS is not at all what heckofagator had, though I hope he comes back to report on progress.

Personally, I think CSS is a better $130 CA Cab than Caymus is an $80 CA Cab, though neither would be my choices at those price points.


Agreed!
quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
quote:
Originally posted by eyesintime:
My go-to recommendations for Cabs in the $25 and under category are from Washington


Ding ding ding!


Ditto. Drop a few Washington Cabs into a blind tasting, next to the Caymus you love, and see what's what. You may end up saving yourself a ton of cash. For $20-$25, I'm drinking Washington cabs all day over cabs from anywhere else, with the occasional exception of Chile.
Hey everyone,

We just returned from a 10 day cruise and drank a bunch of wine. We carried on 15 bottles and other members of our group carried on a bunch, too.

Just a couple quick thoughts....

The Tikal Patriota Malbec I mentioned earlier was the hit of the trip - everyone agreed (6 of us) it was the best red we had. And at $22 a bottle, that's good to me. I opened the Chappellet Signature for Christmas - it was ok, but seemed real average. The Knights Valley was similar, although if I had to choose 1, it'd be the Chappellet over the Knights Valley. My uncle brought several bottles of Joel Gott cab from Costco that he got for $14. I think that was probably the price winner certainly. Was 99% of the others, but at that price point, I can drink it more often. Like I said, the Signature was probably a little better (I did uncork it 3 hours before dinner) but at $50, just not really an option for me going forward.

I'm going to take a look at some more of the Malbecs and the Washington cabs.

I will consider a blind taste test with the Caymus and some others, when I find some more that I like. I think that'd be very telling.

Thanks all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
quote:
Originally posted by heckofagator:
Thanks for all of the thoughts and comments.

Good idea on the the local tastings. Like I said, I don't know alot of wine, and less about reds, so most of the time I'm at the mercy of whatever we end up ordering. I did come across a Tikal Malbec and I really enjoyed, so I've managed to pick that up once or twice and have enjoyed it. But it wasn't the Caymus.

I can't imagine it gets better, but yeah, I guess I'm curious to see what $100 gets you now.

At $75 a bottle, this isn't something I can purchase a whole lot. Mostly maybe for Christmas and other special occasions. And I don't think I'm to the point yet where I can feel 100% comfortable to go spend $75 and then turn around and drink it. But maybe that comes with time and experience.

So you got some good advice above.

What exactly was it about the Caymus that you liked? Maybe if you can articulate that, you'd be more able to find something similar.

For me, Caymus, especially a young one like a 2009, is a rather oaky and fruity wine. That is the description of a lot of California Cab, but it's not a criticism if it's a profile that you like.

As others have pointed out, you're unlikely to get that same quality for $25. For one thing, the barrels alone cost nearly $1000 each, so they have a lot of investment to recoup.

But if you want a fair CA Cab, I think many of the suggestions so far are right on. Napa wines will be more expensive than wines from elsewhere in CA, so if you look at things like Justin for example, it's going to be less just because of where it's from. Look for wines from Sonoma, Paso Robles, etc. If you can find the Ridge Santa Cruz Cab, that's about $35 and it may be something you'd like. It's really an excellent wine. I'm not talking about the Monte Bello, which is about 3 times as expensive.

In addition to those mentioned, from Napa you can try Monticello and Steltzner both of which put out Cabs in the $30 range, as well as BV Rutherford, which can be a good value. The Beringer Knights Valley is a good call, but try the Napa Cab too - it is sometimes as good. And the Chappellet is a really good wine, but try their Mountain Cuvee for about $25, which is always a good buy IMO. The Signature was most likely in need of a long decant and even after that, it's not quite the same as the Caymus. IMO, it's an under-appreciated wine though.

And don't forget Washington. The Chateau St. Michelle is a good suggestion, but try their Merlot. In WA, the Merlot can be outstanding.

Which brings up another point. If some of the wines mentioned are kind of expensive, that's because many Americans think that Cab somehow should be a higher-ranking grape than Merlot. But if someone puts out a really good Cab, see if they also do a Merlot. Right now I'm drinking a Newton 1997 Merlot which isn't necessarily going to set the world on fire but it's a really nice wine that's reasonably mature at this point and still with some tannins to finish it off. It cost me about $24. I don't know what it goes for today.

The Tikal is a pretty pedestrian Malbec, so I'd suggest that you go out and pick up some better ones - you seem to like those so get them before the prices go up. The government of Argentina is so corrupt and stupid that the producers are forced to raise their prices and those cheap Malbecs are going to be history at some point in the near future. Ironically, that may make them more desirable by some people - some folks think that price = quality.

Which brings up another point - you mention that you'd like to see what $100 buys you. Well, once you hit $50 or so, pricing starts losing its relationship with quality. CA producers can get more, so they charge more.

Finally, if you liked that Caymus, go out and get the El Nido Clio. It's big and thick and loaded with that buttery quality that the Caymus has but it's half the price. Don't worry about the grape varieties - the fact is, the variety is far less important than many people think. But my guess is that you'll love the wine. Everyone I know who likes Caymus does.

Cheers, and hang around a bit.

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