Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top 7 Cabernets Tasted 10/13

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2010)
Comments: Fruity and creamy on the nose with subtle underlay of dried herbal notes joining well balanced oak in supporting the core of ripe black currant and black cherry fruit. Nice clarity on entry, this offers a great combination of ripeness and power along with transparency and structure. There are plenty of tannins, with a slight drying edge, and acidity that is present if a bit soft but the flavors are rather pure and fresh, all currant and blackberry toned and playing off the fine use of oak. Finishing fruity and bright as well, with acids that emerge from the blanket of fruit and zesty tannins that cleanse the palate this is awfully well done. It’s also delicious! 92pts
Average price: $12.50 from 140 stores
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2 Rockpile Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (2010)
Comments: Lots of dark oak greets the nose along with dusty soil and lightly dried leafy aromas under olive laced black cherry and black currant fruit. Elegant on entry, the well framed fruit has a lovely dark character, broad shouldered and narrow waited with well integrated acidity and dusty tannins lending support. The palate gains lovely brushy, dried herb and tree bark notes adding complexity leading into a rather explosive finish. This is still tight and wound up on itself but the wonderful length and freshness to the fruit on the finish, with it’s gentle sense of innate sweetness bodes very well for the future. Complex both texturally as well as aromatically. 92pts
Average price: $48.07 from 3 stores
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3 Mount Veeder Winery Napa Valley Cabernet (2009)
Comments: Opaque and showing a little age. This is smoky and grilled beefy on the nose with a nice combination of sweet black plum and blackcurrant fruit, smoky herbs, soil tones and vanilla oak. A little tight still in the mouth with tannins that are softly austere supporting a rich, savory core of fruit. There's still a lot of mineral earth and some wood toast here but the fruit, wild blueberry and currant toned with a little bitter chocolate streak to it is emerging on the midplate along with a hint of truffle that persists through the long finish. Still a bit tough and edgy this is a fine rendition of mountain cabernet with length and a touch of throw back rusticity. 91pts
Average price: $25.20 from 126 stores
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4 Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch the Mint (2008)
Comments: Super herbal and even vegetal though sweet on the nose, sweet green peas layered under tarragon and dried thyme with lovely spicy cumin and coriander top notes. Broad and almost plush on the palate with softened tannins and integrated acids making this very easy to drink. there’s plenty of black currant fruit up front and some plummy, chocolaty fruit flavors as well all leading to a clean, fresh and precise finish. Easy to drink and full of red cherry and red currant fruit with an elegant quality to it but after the nose this comes off as a touch simple on the palate. Finishes with an almost raspberry freshness to the fruit. Delightful to drink. 91pts
Previously available for $41.79
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5 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast Mclaren Vale (2011)
Comments: Beefy and tight on the nose with a hint of cracked pepper accenting a slightly minty core of clear if small black fruit framed with coffee and lightly medicinal aromas. Ripe and rich in the mouth with lots of bright black fruit and nuanced sour plum, bitter chocolate and floral accent notes. There are some hard tannins here underpinning it all, and this has a lovely texture, rather broad but bright and a bit nervous in the mouth with a lovely flavor profile but it does drop off a bit quickly on the finish which is well endowed with woody tannins and shows some heat as well. The powerful structure here lends attractive austerity to the rich fruit, until of course the fruit fades away. Still there is this bitter cherry note on the finish that manages to stick around. Attractive and would show better with food. 91pts
Average price: $27.99 from 3 stores
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6 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon (2011)
Comments: Bright and fruity on the nose with lovely lift to the red plum, smoky oak, coriander, mineral and smoky paprika and dried pork aromas. Smells like cabernet and really good lomo. Bright and pinched on entry with lovely fruit tannins early on the palate. This is awfully young and a bit compressed today but it feels rather lively and bright, and perhaps a smidge under-ripe in the world of modern cabernet, which is fine by me. Not a powerhouse and rather transparent on the palate with some mineral edges and a nicely judged base of wood supporting the fruit along with some peppery and floral nuances. This is young, a bit simple and with slightly unripe tannins but at the same time it’s fresh and bright and pretty easy to drink. Not for everyone but lovely in its own right. 90pts
Previously available for $35.99
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7 Cabernet Riserva Mumelter DOC Kellerei Bozen (2010)
Comments: Nuttty oak greets the nose along with hints of pipe tobacco, spicy wild black berries, black currants a little spicy dried mushroom and lightly toasted spices. This is smooth in the mouth though the initial polish gives way to a grippy little mid-palate ripe with fruit skin tannins. There’s good depth to the fruit, which flashes some mineral nuance on the palate along with hints of toasty oak framing the core of dry, firm and somewhat tight black currant and black plum fruit. This is rather spicy when it comes to Cabernet, rich and ripe yet lean with excellent snap on the palate and a finish that is driven a bit but the oak but delivers a long, fresh if dark fruit impression as well. Theres lovely purity to the fruit, great balance and attractive complexity here though it does show some heat on the finish. 91pts
Previously available for $40.00
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  • 1347763Keith Rector The only thing I agree with in the article is that you don't have to buy $30 or much less $40 Cabernets to get great wines. That price range only fits a very small group of wine buyers. Search out the $20 - $25 Napa Cabs that are not only great, but scores of 90+ pts. *Conn Creek Napa Cab. $17.99 *Franciscan Napa Cab. $17.99 *Simi Alex. V. Cab. $17.99 These are just a few of the outstanding wine specials I am buying now at my favorite Wine Store. Search & you will find.

  • 1297094winepusher Washington Cabernets are amazing in this price range. Abeja; Cougar Crest; Five Star; Sinclair Estates and Kiona Vineyards to name a few

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