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WINE SELECTIONS: The Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel recommends a lineup of top quality/value.

FOR OUR LATEST ROUND of National Retailer Wine Panel reviews, we asked panelists to rate bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine's retail price (which can vary from store to store and market to market). Unless noted otherwise, the price reflects a 750-ml. bottle. If you're a beverage professional with a specialty in wine and you're interested in participating in the panel, please contact managing editor Kyle Swartz at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or 203-855-8499 x2225.

RATING SYSTEM

*****

Five Stars (92-100) A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship.

****

Four Stars(86-91)

A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

***

Three Stars (80-85)

An above-average wine, at a reasonable price point, which many customers will enjoy.

FIVE STARS

(98) Switchback Ridge Cabernet 2013 (California). A very powerful, full-bodied wine. Layers upon layers of black cherry, licorice and cassis. With some air the wine starts to show its true potential. Silky smooth on the palate and hides the 15.5% ABV very well. Bravo! ($95.99)

(97) J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard Cabernet 2013 (California). Known for their excellent offerings in Monterey and Paso Robles, this is their Napa jewel. Named for Mr. Lohr's wife Carol, this 20-acre vineyard north of St. Helena produces legendary cabernet and petite verdot. Aged 17 months in oak, with touches of dark chocolate, hazelnut and rich fruit. A truly elegant wine for any special occasion. ($74.99)

(96) Cliff Lede Cabernet 2015 (California). Full-bodied, rich and tannic. Layers of blackberry, cassis and baking spice. This is a showstopper from the Stags Leap District. ($79.99)

(96) Goldschmidt Vineyard "Game Ranch" Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (California). This wine is straight-up delicious! This vintage shows dark ruby red color, plus ripe berry, cassis and black pepper aromas. On the palate a smooth entry is followed by black cherry, blueberry and spice. Fine, supple tannins carry all the way through the finish. Notes of chocolate, flint and graphite linger. ($75.99)

(96) Gorman 'Bully' Cab 2014 (Washington). Big, bold dark fruits backed up with huge tannins. A great cabernet, but needs a long decant. ($50)

(94) J.Lohr Hilltop Cabernet 2015 (California). Winemaker Steve Peck shines again with his best Paso fruit. 95% cab, with just a touch of malbec and petite verdot, aged 18 months in French Oak. 'Dense but soft' is the new descriptor for the house style. Very structured, but fruit-forward with rich black fruit notes. Hints of dark chocolate and hazelnuts round out the presentation. Age this for the next 10 years--if you have the patience. Excellent food wine. ($36.99)

(94) Textbook 2016 (California). Big and bold with hints of mushrooms, spice and boysenberry. Grippy tannins make this a perfect match for a grass-fed filet. ($32.95)

(94) Sean Minor Napa Cabernet 2015 (California). Aromas of cherry, currant and blackberries open up to chocolate and dark plum on the palate. The tannins and oak are balanced nicely in this bargain of a Napa Cabernet. ($24.99)

(94) Clos Pegase Cabernet 2015 (California). Sourced from a single vineyard at the north end of the valley. Hand harvested at night, and aged 17 months, 85% cab, with a touch of petite verdot. Deep, rich color, with a hint of spice and dark chocolate. Soft, silky finish from a Napa pioneer. ($44.99)

(94) Miner Emily's Cuvee 2013 (California). Offered in remembrance of winery co-founder, Emily Miner, this wine is softened by 5% cabernet franc. The grapes coming from a handful of vineyards, including Stagecoach and Emilio's Terrace. Dried herb, with sagebrush, highlights a tight structure that's savory, with a light touch of oak. Velvety finish with well-integrated tannins makes this wine a personal favorite that I could drink glass after glass. Seek this out, as it will not be around for long. Drink now or hold for a few years. ($43.99)

(93) Hologram Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville 2016 (California). A power-packed Yountville wine, the aromas are fruity and dark with raspberry and mocha notes. The palate matches, adding in dark cherry notes to the mix. The lengthy finish is impressive. ($32.99)

(93) Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Cabernet 2014 (California). Plump and elegant, full, rich and concentrated with a touch of spice. Long finish. Enjoy now or cellar for a few years. ($60)

(93) Empezar Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Argentina). An attractive, youthful and vibrant cabernet sauvignon from Maipu. Big aromas of red fruits, pomegranate and plums give this medium-bodied red intensity without the alcohol overpowering the fruit. Six months in French oak rounds out the tannins. ($18)

(93) Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (California). Inky black with purple edges. Big, bold aromas carrying scents of blueberry jam, cassis and mushrooms. Silky smooth palate follows, nicely balanced, cocoa beans, black cherries, blueberries, dates and fine woody tannins. ($30.99)

(93) Mollydooker Gigglepot Cabernet 2016 (Australia). Rich and creamy with heaps of dark chocolate and vanilla. Nice toasty and spicy long finish that goes on forever. ($50)

(93) D'Amande Cabernet Paso Robles El Pomar 2016 (California). From the El Pomar District AVA in Paso Robles, this cabernet has plenty of dark-chocolate notes and a lot of finesse with balanced uplifting acidity on the finish. Not a shy wine, there is power here in addition to the elegance and balance. ($32.99)

(93) Truth & Valor Cabernet Paso 2016 (California). Aromas of currant and plum give you insight into how dark this wine gets on the palate. An elegant, full, black-fruit driven wine that is all about being silky smooth and energetic at the same time. ($29.99)

(93) Truth & Valor Cabernet Santa Margarita 2016 (California). From the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA in Paso Robles I could easily mistake this for left bank Bordeaux with its red-fruit dominance, yet nuanced with tobacco, and tealeaf notes. A step up in intensity and has a fantastic integration of acid and tannins. ($39.99)

(93) Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (California). A wonderfully balanced, and yet complex, wine. Rich berry fruit are complimented with a hint of cedar and a slight, yet pretty, herbaceous note. This is a substantial cabernet that over delivers for the price. ($29)

(93) Clayhouse Red Cedar Vineyard 2014 (California). This is a fruity take on the grape, cabernet sauvignon, beginning with a nose of fresh and vibrant boysenberry fruit and minerality. The palate is tasty in a hedonistic way, but very primary, with flavors of fruit punch. Easy to drink and value driven. Drink now. ($14.99)

(92) Achaval Ferrer Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 (Argentina). Fascinating aromas of dried flowers and jammy blackcurrants, very fruit forward happy nose. Full-to-medium body with rich ripe medium tannins and medium-plus acid to a ripe, full-body, flavorful, spicy finish. ($25.99)

(92) Balancing Act 2015 (Washington State). A lush and smooth cabernet sauvignon. Ripe mixed berry, fruit-forward aromas of plum, black currant, herb and spice lead to blue and black fruit flavors in this wine with hints of pepper and vanilla spice. The finish is supported by grainy tannins, notes of coffee and cherries on the long finish, delivering easy-drinking appeal. Wonderful example of what is happening in the Washington wine region. Drink now. ($19.99)

(92) Round Pond Kith & Kin Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (California). The deep rich color is the first indication of the fantastic tasting experience you will have with this cabernet sauvignon. Intense berry fruit, firm tannins and balanced acidity give this wine an amazing structure and flavor. It gets better with every sip. ($35)

(92) Crossfork Creek Cabernet Yakima 2016 (Washington). Dense, deep and ripe, this has those fantastic creamy-cassis notes that permeate all flavors. Lots of black and blue fruit, this wine punches above Its weight and is a fine representation of excellent value from the Yakima Valley. ($24.99)

(92) Beringer Bros. Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet 2016 (California). Great value--hard to resist. Smooth and easy drinking with lots of dark chocolate, toffee and a touch of spice. ($15)

(92) Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (California). Toasted coconut, pencil shavings, graphite, red currant and baked blackberry aromas. Deftly balanced with ripe and sweet tannins finishing long and juicy. ($75)

(92) Foxglove Cabernet 2017 (California). Always one of the best values in California. Dark cherry, licorice and plum on the palate. Smooth tannins make this wine very approachable right out of the gate. ($14.99)

(92) Gunsight Rock Cab 2015 (California). The nose of black raspberry, cherry and oak lead into a palate of dark fruits and a hint of white pepper. This full-bodied, structured, Paso Robles wine is welcome at the dinner table any day of the week at this price. ($16.99)

(92) Primal Oaks Cabernet Paso Estrella 2016 (California). From the Estrella District AVA in Paso Robles, there is a lot nice texture and, consequently, a nice mouthfeel here, with a red fruit-heavy palate and nose. Red cherries and raspberry notes fly across your tongue, and then the finish stays for a long while. ($24.99)

(92) Paso Ranches Cabernet Paso Robles 2016 (California). A blueberry- and raspberry-forward wine that reminds me of Bordeaux but with a mocha note to tell you that it Is still from Paso Robles. There is a very enticing savory note to this wine that adds depth to this cabernet. ($21.99)

FOUR STARS

(91) Vineyard Drive Cabernet Sauvignon Paso 2016 (California). A grippy Paso Robles wine that should not be underestimated, with fresh red fruit-driven notes from initial taste to finish, and a full body. The smooth-yet-gripping tannins make an impressionable and impressive finish. ($16.99)

(91) King's Pass Cabernet Napa 2015 (California). This full-bodied dark wine has prominent notes of plum and black cherry along with smoky notes that linger on the finish. The smoky spice elements to this dark full wine are what make it interesting and balanced. ($19.99)

(97) AW Alexander School Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (California). Winemaker Kevin Hall shines with this selection from the sweet spot in the family's vineyard: a small 25-yearold hilltop vineyard. 100% cab, aged 24 months in oak. Rich and supple, very balanced, a strong fruit backbone. A perfect, easy drinking wine. ($33.99)

(93) Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (California). This single vineyard cabernet sauvignon offers rich and concentrated dark fruit flavors of cassis, blackberry, dark cherry and currant. Vanilla and black licorice follow the burst of fruit flavors giving way to a long, lingering finish with ample tannins and a hint of spice. ($25.99)

BEVERAGE DYNAMICS NATIONAL WINE PANEL

ABC Fine Wines & Spirits

Orlando, FL

Brad Lewis

Director of Wine Sales

ABC Fine Wines & Spirits

Stuart, FL

Josh Beerman

Andina Restaurant/Pearl Wine Shop

Portland, OR

Ken Collura

Director/Sommelier

Atlantic Liquors

Rehoboth Beach, DE

John Driscoll

Wine Manager

Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits

Annapolis, MD

Phil Altherr, GM

Katie Harper, Wine Sales

Berbiglia Wine & Spirits

Kansas City, MO

Ralph J. Bondon

Vice President/Owner

Beverages & more!

Concord, CA

Wilfred Wong

E-Commerce Cellar Master

Bocanova

Oakland, CA

Gerardo Acevedo-Vanni

GM/Sommelier

Bottle Bargains

Northport, NY

Ryan Armstrong

Store Manager

Bottle King Liquors

Livingston, NJ

Steve Carpentler

General Manager

Bowery & Vine Wine & Spirits

New York, NY

Bill Beard

Manager

Brown Derby Stores

Springfield, MO

John Riley

Retail Fine Wine Buyer

BTG Wine Bar

Salt Lake City, UT

Louis Koppel

Sommelier

Bullfrog Wine and Spirits

Fort Collins, CO

Chuck Carlson

GM/Certified Sommelier

Cordially Yours Wine and Spirits

Depew, NY

Jeannine Babcock

Director Wine & Spirits

Cotuit Liquors

Marston Mills, MA

Dan O'Brien

President

Crestwood Liquors

Coventry, RI

Matthew A. Reay

VP Marketing/Merch.

Flute

New York, NY

Herve Rousseau

Owner

The Fridge Liquor

Manhattan, KS

Wine Buyer

Frugal MacDoogal's

Nashville, TN

Jenni McCray

Assistant Wine and Events Manager

Great Domains & Estates

Windsor, CA

Larry LaScola

General Manager

Hakkasan Group

London, England

Christine Parkinson

Group Head of Wine

Happy Harry's

Bottle Shop

Grand Forks, ND

Dustin Mitzel

General Manager

Haskell's

Minnetonka, MN

Ted Farrell

President

HMGI Restaurant Group

Charleston, SC

Bill Netherland

Wine Director

Holiday Wine Cellar

Escondido, CA

Jim Kern

Manager/Wine Buyer

Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits

Silvis, IL

Kevin Miller

Wine & Spirits Manager

K&L Wine Merchants

Redwood City, CA

Bryan Brick,

Sales Consultant

Legal Sea Foods

Boston, MA

Sandy Block

VP Beverage Operations

Liquor Barn

Louisville, KY

Michael Sorg, Wine

Manager

Liquor Boy

St. Louis Park, MN

Peter Herlofsky III

Wine Manager

Maggie Wine Consulting

Poughkeepsie, NY

Maggie Gephard

President

Mainstreet Wines & Spirits

Countryside, IL

Nancy J. Sabatini

Dir. Wine Ed. & Sales

Malloy's Finest

Wine & Spirits

Naperville, IL

Bruce Jaroski

Wine Director

Mills Fine Wine & Spirits

Annapolis, MD

Peter Finkelstein

Wine Consultant

North Ridge Wine

Ellicott City, MD

Brad Boarman

Owner

Prime Wines & Spirits

Kenmore, NY

Rick McLeod

Wine Manager

Premium Wine & Spirits

Willlamsville, NY

Dave Cleveland

General Manager

Prestige Wine & Spirits

Orchard Park, NY

Jeff Vignaux

General Manager

Spec's Wine, Spirits, Finer Foods

Houston, TX

Bear Dalton

Fine Wine Buyer

The Boerne Cork and Keg

Boerne, TX

Tom Geoghegan, Owner

The Liquor Store & Wine Loft

Jackson Hole, WY

Nate Mylott

Manager/Buyer

Total Wine & More

Claymont, DE

Cristina Pearce

Senior Buyer

Towne Spirits and Fine

Wine/Elite Beverages

Noblesville & Indianapolis, IN

Arnle Lewin

Wine & Spirits Director

Trig's Cellar 70

Minocqua, WI

Dennis J. Kohl

Beverage Consultant

Vino 100

Michael A. Schaefer, CWE Dir., Business

Development

Vino Loco Wine & Tapas

Englewood, FL

Joyce Colmar

Managing Partner

Willowbrook

Spirit Shoppe

Cromwell, CT

Christopher Cambareri

Owner

The Wine Seller

Ridgewood, NJ

Don Carter

Owner/Sommelier

Yankee Discount Liquor

East Haven, CT

Deepak Pattani, Owner

Yankee Wine

Newtown, CT

Brian Hutcheson

General Manager
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Title Annotation:RETAILER
Author:Sauvignon, Cabernet
Publication:Beverage Dynamics
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Sep 1, 2018
Words:2259
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