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Hello everyone, first time poster here. My girl friend and I have always loved wine, but it’s only recently that we have become more serious.

Can you guys recommend 5-10 napa valley cabs between 50-100 dollars that would give us a good basis of comparison? Good values are most appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

John
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Plenty of good suggestions already but do some shopping online. You should also be able to try some cabs with a little age on them. You can probably find

02 Larkmead
99 Heitz Trailside
02 Etude

Here's another one around $ 50- Trespass. They are still selling their 02.

And in the $ 70 range- Pride. May be tough to find an 02 or 01 but worth the search.
quote:
Originally posted by Javachip:
It's all personal taste of course, but I would not drink any Cali Cab in that price range unless it is at least 8 years old...


Wow. There are some wines in that price range that I think are way over the hill by age 8!!! (Lewelling?!) Others tend to drink well young, shut down, and change and re-emerge as wonderful complex wines at around the age of 8 (Etude). But, of the wine I mentioned, the onlyone I really thing benefits from age, unconditionally, is the Chappellet PHEV.
For wines that are more approachable, but can also age nicely the ones I like are:

Ladera
Larkmead
Reverie

Most the wines from these wineries wines are approachable soon, but will reward you with some cellaring. However, all three also make some that you should let sit if you buy them. From Ladera, their Lone Canyon Cabernet needs some sit down time before opening, from Larkmead, both their Salon and Solari Reserve will be much better with cellaring time as well, and with Reverie, their Special Reserve, needs time as well.


While these wines are under $50, I feel they are too good not to mention.

Hendry Block 8 Cabernet. Outstanding wine for the money, and it is really good young or aged.

Paradigm Cabernet. Another excellent wine for the money at under $50. Drinks great young or aged.


The next ones I will list are for if you want some very long lived wines. All are under $100,

Dunn Howell Mountain
Chateau Montelena "Montelena Estate"
Philip Togni
Ridge Monte Bello

If you are looking for California Cabernet that has great aging ability, these are the ones. Just remember, treat these like a Bordeaux, not your more common California wine.



Just yesterday, I tasted the 2002 Heitz Trailside Vineyard Cabernet. An excellent wine, it is around $75. I thought it was good when I tasted it, but it was still aways away from hitting its peak.
quote:
Originally posted by vintage:
It seems that the Beringer PR cab gets no respect here and I think it is excellent.

All of the cabs from Mark Neal fall in that range and all are good and good QPRs.



I agree with you. I have tasted it before, and it is a great wine. The problem is, I think many outstanding wines will be overlooked. At least for me, I at this point in time I am set with the many wine clubs I am with. Although, I am looking at dropping a few and trying something new. Beringer has tempted me a few times to try their wine club.

One of the Beringer wines I have always liked and is very reasonably priced is their Knight's Valley. My parents opened up a '97 Knights Valley last weekend and it was excellent and still has plenty of life left in it. They have two more bottles left.
quote:
One of the Beringer wines I have always liked and is very reasonably priced is their Knight's Valley. My parents opened up a '97 Knights Valley last weekend and it was excellent and still has plenty of life left in it. They have two more bottles left.


I picked up an 01 KV earlier this year, out of nostalgia, because it used to be a regular of mine. I had occasion to open it recently and could not believe the value for a $21 bottle of wine.

I think Beringer gets no respect because it is too "common". It does not fit the mold of "exclusive" or "hard to find". It is not cult or limited production. It has no bragging rights that cater to so many wine snobs. This is fine with me, because it's prices are still relatively cheap for the quality.
quote:
Originally posted by vintage:I think Beringer gets no respect because it is too "common". It does not fit the mold of "exclusive" or "hard to find". It is not cult or limited production. It has no bragging rights that cater to so many wine snobs. This is fine with me, because it's prices are still relatively cheap for the quality.


I too have really enjoyed a Beringer Private Reserve, I wish it were common because it is not that easy to find around here in Canada.

I would like to throw another hat in the ring. You may also want to consider a Shafer One Point Five Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. Smile
[QUOTE]Originally posted by malbecmaniac:
Nobody has mentioned the widely available Shafer One-Point-Five Cabernet- just terrific! QUOTE]

Totally agree; the One Point Five is fantastic.

Other suggestions:

2002 Etude
2004, 2005 Caymus
2002, 2003, 2004 Cliff Lede
2003 Corte Riva
2004 Turnbull
2004 Paul Hobbs
2002 Ladera Lone Canyon
2003 Ladera Howell Mountain
2004 St Clement Oroppas
quote:
Originally posted by vintage:
quote:
One of the Beringer wines I have always liked and is very reasonably priced is their Knight's Valley. My parents opened up a '97 Knights Valley last weekend and it was excellent and still has plenty of life left in it. They have two more bottles left.


I picked up an 01 KV earlier this year, out of nostalgia, because it used to be a regular of mine. I had occasion to open it recently and could not believe the value for a $21 bottle of wine.

I think Beringer gets no respect because it is too "common". It does not fit the mold of "exclusive" or "hard to find". It is not cult or limited production. It has no bragging rights that cater to so many wine snobs. This is fine with me, because it's prices are still relatively cheap for the quality.



I think that Beringer Private Reserve gets alot of respect from Robert Parker and some of the critics, but unfortunately it is often overlooked by consumers.

Right now, I am thinking of dropping my membership with Trefethen. I can either pay $150 for a bottle of Halo, or $100 or less for a bottle of Beringer Private Reserve. The Beringer is far superior.

I am not happy with the way things are going at Trefethen. Overcharging for wines that are not worth what they ask. They make good wine, but they overcharge. As where with Beringer, it is the opposite. You get great deals and superb wine for the money.

I feel like I am getting gouged by Trefethen right now. I have never felt that way when purchasing Beringer wines.

I also know that Beringer owns St. Clement Winery. I have always thought highly of the wines from St. Clement.
WOW! So many wines! Many thanks to all that responded. Eek We're probably going to buy a couple of the recommended bottles and have a tasting party with a few of our friends.

I ll probably get 3 bottles. One in the high, middle and low of the range just to start.

Another quick questions to the members of the forum...

Is there a "benchmark" california cab? a quick google search indicated silver oaks. Any opinions?
Last edited by wonggei
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STAY AWAY FROM SILVER OAK!!! Eek Eek

If you want a traditional Napa Cab made the same way it has been made for years, you might look to Beringer Private Reserve. It is not my favorite, and I think it is a bit overpriced. I did not include it on my list and I stand by that call. But it is still a good wine, and indicative of what CA Cabs are traditonally like.

To me, Seavey tastes like what Napa Cab is 'supposed' to taste like, though the winery itself could not be viewed as a benchmark. Either the Chappellet Signature or the PHEV, or Etude, could all be viewed as benchmarks. (While it is true of all these wines that if you can find the 2002, you should get that, this is especially true of the Etude.)
i agree with the regular caymus bottling, and at around the $50 mark, Regusci is one of my favorites. Also, try the Napanook (second bottling from Dominus, which, with a few years of age, sings imo), and then there is the polarizing Darioush Signature Cab, at around $60-$75.00/bottle. Some seem to love it and some to hate it, but, even as someone that doesn't like that much oak, the 2003 and 2002 were excellent in my opinion and and I have hopes for the 2004.

so, to recap,

Regusci $50/bottle
Napanook - $48/bottle
Darioush - $60-75/bottle.

Thanks, Dale


Dale
Wonggei,
A word of advice. Its trendy to bash popular Napa cabs like Silver Oak, Opus, and Cakebread on the forum (even if they have never tried them).
Its also cool to suggest popular labels like Neal, Caymus, and Etude (even if they have never tried them).
Your best bet to get some good advice is to try some Napa cabs and get a good idea of what style that you like. Next, post a few cabs that you like and ask for wines made in a similar style. By doing this you hopefully eliminate posters that simply suggest wines based on popularity and get input from people with similar tastes.
quote:
Originally posted by jgreen:
the 2002 Etude is far superior to the 04 caymus not even close.


I agree. As much as I like the '04 Caymus, IMO the '02 Etude is superior.

However, if you're at all concerned about the price, that may factor in to your decision as to which to buy. If I remember correctly, I paid somewhere around $80 for the '02 Etude and somewhere between $60-$65 for '04 Caymus.

Still, price notwithstanding, the '02 Etude is a great wine, one I consider better than the '04 Caymus (which is still pretty damn good).
quote:
Originally posted by romicci:
I like Clark~Claudon for the price...mid $60's
Always complex and 100% CS


The Clark-Claudon Vineyards Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 or 2002 goes for $119.00 in Canada. I have no experience with this wine but am intrigued, which is why I surf these forums. Is it really worth that much? At that price you are starting to get into Caymus Special Select price range, one of my favourite Cali Cabs. Is it good enough to justify that price tag? Smile

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