5 Value Sonoma Cabernets

California reds at a bargain


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2009 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 13.8% $14

Slightly musky dark cherry fruit is framed with hints of bittersweet chocolate, toasted oak, and a hint of coconut. Rather lean and low on entry then turning richer with a nice core of red berry/cherry fruit that offers up nuanced notes of coffee cream and slightly medicinal red licorice. The tannins are ample but sweet with plenty of balancing acidity keeping this fresh in the mouth. The finish shows of some sour cherry, a hint of vanilla and some nice cedary spice with a touch of pomegranate on the finale.  Solid, ready to drink Cabernet with a few years upside. 87pts

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  • Why do you recommend wines that are not available?

    Sep 28, 2011 at 4:03 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Sometimes I taste wines before they are released, other times we may not have a wine avaialble from a participating retailer on Snooth but that does not mean the wine is not avaialble. Other time the wines are not available in your region. I get this question all the time from readers in Europe for example. Which wine do you find to be unavailable? The AVV? It's available directly from the winery for example, and K&L currently shows it in stock.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 4:18 PM

  • Snooth User: addieline
    841558 11

    Maybe there is one out there somewhere. I found one on a Raley's or Safeway shelf unusually, and bought it. It wasn't long ago that I could still buy this 2007 at Bevmo or Total Wine.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    Pedroncelli available all over bay area, not sure about these two vineyard specific wines. The other three are at Costco. I agree that these are good buys. Costco has the Martini for 10.49.... I have bought it for years, but try to lay it up an additional 2-3 years to let it mellow out -- I prefer it to their Napa version which is $3-4 more, more approachable early on, but less body. Alexander Valley is good, just started drinking it, could use a few more years. Rodney Strong is about $12 at Costco, very drinkable. I also like Sebastiani, Simi Valley, etc from this price range in napa/sonoma. Also under $20 at Costco is BV Rutherford, and Starmont.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM

  • Snooth User: addieline
    841558 11

    The 2009 Alexander Valley Vineyard is listed but the 2007 vintage label is featured? I prefer the 2007; not available now.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    @addieline Most of these wines need a few years aging.... last night opened a petite sirah from 2006, hadn't had any for 18 months, much better now. In general, all medium to full bodied reds get better with age.....it just takes patience. Buy three bottles, drink one now, if not to your liking, put the other two away and forget about them. I started this way and now have 600 bottles in my stash; actually, been buying too much wine in the last few years.... wine instead of clothes.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM

  • I did have an opportunity to intern at Alexander Valley Vineyards under the watchful eye of Kevin Hall. I consider his Cabernet Sauv. to have a wonderfully floral nose!

    Sep 29, 2011 at 8:49 PM

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