Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Editor at Snooth Happy to answer all your wine related questions.

Napa Value Wines Under $25

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Courtney Benham (2009)
Comments: Gentle on the nose with an early meaty note, followed by a nice blend of balanced tarragon, wet clay, Middle Eastern spice, eucalyptus and spiced cherry aromas. Rather precise and focused on the palate with attractively fresh blackcurrant and black cherry fruit early on that are joined by a little wood spice and gentle earth notes on the mid palate. The finish is bright and juicy with stiff if fine grained tannins and a nice rush of wild raspberry fruit accenting red plummy fruit. There's a nice edge of tension to this wine, with fruit that is pleasantly ripe. 89pts
Previously available for $25.00
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2 Vignobles Brunier Vieux Telegraphe Red Chateauneuf du Pape (2010)
Comments: Sweet and soft on the nose with early accents of mocha, sweet tobacco leaf, allspice and brown sugar joined by dried bay leaf and black currants. On entry this shows excellent integration and while there is plenty of acidity here, it is held nicely in check by the rich yet not weighty fruit. The oak is well measured as well, yielding a rather seamless wine with attractive herb, toast and blackcurrant flavors; elegant and bright with refreshing acidity on the moderately long finish which ends with cinnamon dusted red berry fruits. This probably won't wow many, but it drinks quite well in a rather classic modern Napa Valley style. Snappy, clean and crisp. 89pts
Average price: $20.99 from 355 stores
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3 Rutherford Ranch Napa Cabernet (2009)
Comments: A touch of dusty earth, perhaps even stemmy on the nose, which also shows red currant fruit, well measured vanilla and lightly toasted spices and a touch of toasted almond and dry fruit. Medium bodied and fairly bright on entry, this blends some riper flavors of dried fruit and prune with light caramel edges and layers it all over red currant and cherry fruit. There are nice spice and vanilla accents showing on the mid palate that add complexity but don’t overpower the fruit, leading to a slightly tannic but palate-freshening finish thats pretty long with lingering, slightly spicy black cherry flavors and lightly chewy fruit tannins. With air, a subtle herbal note emerges on the palate as well. Love the way this feels in the mouth, though the flavors are just a touch riper than a very solid value. 88pts
Average price: $19.99 from 131 stores
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4 B Side Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (2010)
Comments: Dark and sweet on the nose with plenty of chocolate and toasty oak notes over a base of herb-brushed, lightly roasted blackberry fruit. Light and dry on entry, this is rather poised in the mouth and not at all in the common soft style of Napa Valley today. The flavors are well anchored by good acidity and dry, earthy tannins, showing a suggestion of herb, a touch of tobacco and light cedar accents to the red and black currant fruit. The back end shows a little oak, nothing too obvious, and it drives the moderately long finish, which picks up a touch more herb and fruit character. This is relatively complex and elegant in a masculine way. 88pts
Average price: $19.99 from 4 stores
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5 Martin Ray Courtney Benham Cabernet Sauvignon Mt Veeder (2009)
Comments: Vanilla, herbs, raw wood and jujube aromas greet the nose. Subtly complex with a light gaminess to the black fruit on the nose. Smooth and polished with nary an edge to be seen though the flavors here run towards the oakier, savory end of the spectrum with lots of mocha, cocoa, and dried spice flavors framing nice blueberry fruit. Well balanced and interesting, this lacks some complexity and depth but should make for fine early drinking. The finish is fairly short with some drying wood tannins and toasty spice notes. 87pts
Average price: $29.99 from 73 stores
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6 Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (2010)
Comments: A touch sweet and toasty on the nose with a nice light licorice top not floating over moderately spicy and slightly leathery black fruit. Balanced and focused on entry with a nice integrated, decidedly medium-bodied mouth feel and layered flavors of toasty oak, leather, licorice, black plum skin, and a touch of green walnut. This turns a touch minty on the back end where the sweetness of wood picks up a bit, leading to a moderately long finish that shows a bit of oaky harshness and more licorice notes. 87pts
Average price: $22.99 from 161 stores
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7 Summers Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga Napa Valley (2010)
Comments: A nice minty, herbaceous edge greets the nose, adding freshness here to the slightly oaky and hard dark currant fruit. This smells unforgiving. Tight on entry, there's a good amount of fruit here, but this is not fleshy and plump but rather focused and crisp, medium weight with black cherry and currant fruit topped with a hint of mint and laid over a base of cedary oak. This seems to need some time in the bottle, not soft but neither oppressive for its a slightly fruit-driven classic Napa Valley Cabernet, though perhaps not representative of the typical warmth of Calistoga. The finish shows more of the oak, dry and nutty with lingering vanilla sweetness matched by the compressed cherry fruit and ending with a touch of smoke on the finale. Should benefit from 1-3 years in the cellar. 87pts
Average price: $29.99 from 16 stores
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8 Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (2009)
Comments: Smoky on the nose yet bright with fresh red currant and lightly jammy blackberry fruit, all cupped in a gently sweet vanilla note. A touch rough around the edges, this shows some noticeable wood tannin in the mouth with good acidity adding some freshness to the dark cherry/blackberry flavors. There's also noticeable oak sweetening the palate and adding vanilla and spice notes that persist on the moderately long finish, which also shows some cherry pit notes and a touch of heat. 87pts
Average price: $24.99 from 7 stores
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  • 1215330Robert Creamer I would add Buehler to the mix of Napa values under $25. Both their estate and regular bottlings can be found at or below $25.


  • 1203186winedaddy How about Spann Vineyards Classic Four. Ok, its from Sonoma but this winery is producing outstanding wines. and its around $22.


  • 895953premiercollection BV Rutherford hits the spot for the same price.



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