Top 100 Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

Amapola Creek
2010 Amapola Creek Estate Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
$70
From legendary winemaker Richard Arrowood’s own certified-organic vines, this wine captures mountain Cabernet at its best, with tightly wound structure and a core of rich cassis, dark chocolate and kirsch flavors. It’s had enough time in bottle to begin to unfold, with suppleness and a long, sophisticated finish. (VB)

Carol Shelton Wines
2012 King Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
$50
Cabernet is rare from the Sonoma Coast, yet Zin master Carol Shelton coaxed a great wine from this cool-climate site. It’s savory and woodsy, with supple tannins and warm plum and dark cherry flavors. Distinctive and delicious. (LM)

Chateau St. Jean
2012 Cinq Cepages Sonoma Valley
$80
The Kenwood winery’s flagship bottling, it gets its name from the five (“cinq”) Bordeaux grape varieties in the blend (Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). The 2012 is supple and smooth, with cedar, pencil shavings and savory oak aromas.
Cabernet Sauvignon’s tannic structure and dark fruit meld with high-toned red fruit of Merlot. Cellar through 2022. (VB)

Estate 1856
2012 Tzabaco Rancho Vineyard Duvall’s Prospect Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
$38
This massive, tannic wine scored 97 points at the North Coast Wine Challenge. It has a smoky campfire aroma and ripe dark plum and black cherry fruit, with substantial tannins that plead for service with rare meat. Cellaring for a few years will reward the patient with a smoother, more seamless experience. (LM)

Ferrari-Carano
2012 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
$34
Polished and poised, it sports vanillin oak, vibrant dark cherry and wild berry fruit, supple tannins and a long, succulent finish. Anise, pencil lead and cedar notes add interest. (LM)

Forefathers
2012 Lone Tree Vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
$55
From the dry-farmed Lone Tree Vineyard north of Geyserville, it has a gorgeous floral aroma and is a mouthful of perfectly ripe, energetic dark
cherry fruit. It’s very supple and polished, with firm yet not drying tannins. It’s a lovely drink now yet should improve with eight to 10 years of bottle age. Made by Nick Goldschmidt. (LM)

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
2012 Archimedes  Alexander Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon
$75
Pleasant forest floor, sandalwood, anise and blackberry aromas are repeated on the palate, joining bright berry fruit, juicy acidity and a very subtle hint of sweetness. It’s a vibrant style that will please any crowd. (LM)

Jordan Vineyard & Winery
2012 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
$53
Always one of the most Bordeaux-like of Sonoma Cabs, the 2012 is drinkable now yet has a track record for aging gracefully for 20 years or more. Forest floor, loam, bright cherry and cassis character ride a wave of nervy acidity, backed by solid tannic structure. Napa quality at a Sonoma price. (LM)

Kendall-Jackson
2012 Grand Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
$28
The inviting forest floor, cedar, cassis and vanillin oak aromas lead to a fresh, brisk mouthful of beautifully balanced red and dark plum fruit. It favors complexity and refinement over ripeness and bombast — this is a wine you want to drink with steak and lamb, and not as a cocktail. (LM)

Lambert Bridge
2012 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
$80
It’s pricey, and worth it, with inviting aromas and generous flavors of cherry, cassis and dark plum. Remarkably lively for a wine of its density
and weight, it gains complexity from subtle notes of cedar, black olive and dark chocolate. Seamless, suave and elegant, it closes with a
lingering finish. (LM)

Laurel Glen Vineyard
2011 Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
$65
Bettina Sichel heads the team that purchased Laurel Glen from founder Patrick Campbell in March 2011. This wine reflects Campbell’s 30-year viticultural efforts and the work of Sichel’s winemaker, Randall Watkins, who took the grapes from bud to bottle. From a difficult vintage comes a wine with pretty floral aromas, juicy dark cherry and cassis flavors, and a savory, mountain-mineral character. (LM)

Rodney Strong Vineyards
Symmetry 2012 Sonoma County Meritage Red Wine
$55
The earthy, loamy nose has significant toasty oak. There’s great freshness on the palate, with plump dark plum, black olive and briary black raspberry, supple tannins and vanillin oak. Comprised of 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, with lesser amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (LM)

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