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Comparing 12 Cabernet Sauvignon Bottles of Wine

Looking For A Classic Cabernet Bottle of Wine

Comparisons of good bottles of red wine tend to focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. As you know from our musings we enjoy bottles of red wine ranging from Zinfandel, Syrah, Pinot Noir to red blends.

While Cabernet Sauvignon is not our preference in a bottle of wine, we certainly enjoy them and understand the tastes, textures and flavors. As leaders of our yacht club wine committee, we knew it was time to refresh our Cabernet Sauvignon offerings. We needed a low end house Cabernet for the cost conscious crowd and a higher tier cab for the more discerning wine tasters.

So we sat down with 12 bottles, five tasters, a dozen wine glasses, spit cups and some pour buckets to sort out the best, and the worst.

Our journey included wine from California, Chile, Argentina, France and Washington State. Some of them were critter wines (animals on the label) and some were just poorly labeled. We ranked then on a 0-5 scale. Zero meaning you’d pour it into your neighbors plants even if somebody saw you killing their vegetation, and 5 meaning you’d walk a hundred miles to find this wine.

What did we taste? Here goes:

2013 Concha y Toro, Gran Reserva, Chile -Avg 3pts
2013 Graffigna, Estate Reserve, Argentina -Avg 3.2pts
2013 Motto Backbone, California -Avg 3.6pts
2013 Educated Guess, Roots Run Deep, Napa, California -Avg 3.5pts
2012 Dry Creek, Sonoma, California -Avg 4.2pts
2012 Columbia, Washington State -Avg 2.1pts
2013 William Hill, Central Coast, California -Avg 3.7pts
2012 Edna Valley, Central Coast, California -Avg 3.9pts
2013 J.Lohr  Seven Oaks  Estate, Paso Robles, California -Avg 3.7pts
2013 Casa de Campo, Argentina -Avg 4.1pts
2013 Matairie,  France -Avg 2.8pts
2013 Graffiti, ‘Observable Distractions’ (Cab/Red Blend) -Avg. 4.3pts

These scores take price point into consideration (even though we won’t disclose pricing here, because it’s wholesale.) Many of these wines are commonly available in your local wine shop, grocery store, Total Wine and BevMo.

On the high price point and of the spectrum you’ll find Concha & Toro, Dry Creek, J. Lohr, Metairie and Educated Guess. On the economy end you’ll find Edna Valley, William Hill, Casa de Campo and Columbia.

As a group we enjoyed the Casa de Campo most for our house wine and the J. Lohr Seven Oaks was chosen as our higher end Cabernet Sauvignon bottle wine, not only because it’s a good wine, but because it’s well known in California, being right up the coast from the yacht club. Another good reason for the J. Lohr is one of our tasters met ‘Jerry’ at a Paso Robles wine festival when he sat in her empty lawn chair for a quick break.

Everybody was so surprised by The Graffiti Red Blend Cabernet, ‘Observable Distractions’, that we’ll bring it in as a house special later in the year. If he grows legs and runs, we’ll keep it in inventory. If not it’ll just be a surprise ‘Distraction’ for the month.

So print up this list and run down to your favorite wine emporium to find out how your palate ranks this group of Cabernet Sauvignons.

Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Temecula.