Top 15 California Bordeaux Blend Wines Under $125

New world meets old world

6. Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Éloge (Napa Valley) - The winemaker/proprietor here is Todd Anderson. The Éloge is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend, with lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. They also produce a wine called “Right Bank” which is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
2004Bricking dark red violet color; rich, ripe cassis, black currant nose; rich, tart berry, ripe black fruit palate; medium-plus finish. 93 points
7. Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red (Napa Valley) - Jayson Pahlmeyer, whose inspiration has always been Château Mouton, is the proprietor. Kale Anderson is director of winemaking for their Napa Valley vineyard and operations. The Proprietary Red was launched with the 1986 vintage, and is usually a blend of all five Bordeaux varieties, aged an average of 18 months in French oak.
2006Pencil lead, black fruit nose; tasty, black fruit, pencil lead palate; medium-plus finish (81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec). 93 points

8. Rubissow Les Trompettes (Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder) - Rubissow is based in Mt. Veeder on a 45-acre hillside estate, of which 18.5 acres are planted to vines that are farmed organically. Peter Rubissow is the general manager, and he and his sister partnered to acquire and modernize their father’s brand. Ariel Rubissow-Okamoto oversees vineyard operations. The winemaker is Timothy Milos, who started out at Opus One, and was director of winemaking for Cliff Lede. The Les Trompettes is a Cabernet Franc dominated blend. The 2005 is the current release.
2004Nice blackberry, boysenberry and floral nose; tasty, ripe boysenberry, berry, black fruit palate with depth; medium-plus finish (65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon). 93 points
9. Cain Vineyard & Winery Cain Five (Napa Valley) - The owners here are Jim and Nancy Meadlock, who bought out their fellow founding partners, the Cains, in 1991. The 84 acres of vineyards on this 2000 foot elevation site on Spring Mountain were planted from 1981 to 1990. The winemaker since 1990 is Chris Howell, who studied enology at the University of Montpellier before beginning his winemaking career at Mouton Rothschild. Starting in 2007, the Cain Five, containing all five Bordeaux varieties, is made entirely from estate grown fruit.
2003: Intriguing tart plum, mulberry, mint nose; plum, fig, mulberry, chocolate palate; long finish (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 19% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec). 93 points
2007Very dark red violet color; herbs, tart black fruit, earthy nose; tasty, tart black fruit, herbs, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc). 92+ points

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  • Snooth User: poefar
    206246 1

    Great article. BLENDS for the nice price of less-than-$125.

    Very helpful.

    Feb 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM

  • Snooth User: rayeverett
    144418 19

    Excellent piece and seeing as how you managed to hit on several of my favorites, I'm all the more reinforced in my high opinions of these. And curse you for adding more to my list of must-trys! :-) Thanks again Richard!

    Feb 19, 2013 at 4:55 PM

  • Snooth User: JAB34
    1038844 40

    Have tried a few ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Still dont fit the budget!!!!

    Feb 19, 2013 at 7:42 PM

  • Snooth User: blackwa
    1131505 551

    How about the Madrigal Napa Valley Sonnet #63? A great Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon blend for just about $48.

    Feb 19, 2013 at 11:21 PM

  • Snooth User: moldavi33
    150558 5

    Justin's Isosceles is a very tasty bottle, but my preference is their Justification, which is a Cab Franc heavy Right Bank-style blend. Great fruits, impeccable balance, and only around $40 - $45 a bottle. My highest recommendations!

    Feb 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

  • Snooth User: annwine
    296752 1

    The "Amelie" 75% Cab 25% Merlot from Mankas Hills Vineyards in the Suisun Valley 5 miles east of the southern slopes of Napa is one of the best buys at $14.00 a bottle.
    The 2005 won the Platinum award, in the 2008 Critics Challenge.

    Feb 21, 2013 at 11:47 PM

  • Snooth User: Gene Barry
    1124102 8

    I love the Trinchero Meritage from Napa, really tasty!

    Feb 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM

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