Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

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Nick F.
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Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#1 Post by Nick F. » May 11th, 2019, 8:40 am

Looking for your favorite easily available sub $20 Cabernet based wines. Location doesn’t matter to me, but my wife is currently not drinking red and I don’t drink enough to open any pricier bottles.

Appreciate any help.

Thanks
Last edited by Nick F. on May 11th, 2019, 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Robert M yers
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#2 Post by Robert M yers » May 11th, 2019, 8:48 am

Tough spot for domestic unless you like the oak/sweeter leaning style. I’d look to outlying Bordeaux for variety and value.

If you haven’t had Charles Smith’s Substance out of Washington that’s a good play here too

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#3 Post by EHeffner » May 11th, 2019, 8:51 am

Came here to say Substance. Always on sale at either my local grocery store or wine shops. Always have a bottle on hand as it’s a great weekday bottle
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#4 Post by Kris Patten » May 11th, 2019, 9:33 am

We sell some of them, but Substance, Novelty Hill or Luke from WA and Mendel, Susana Balbo or Crios from ARG are good values.
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Glen Gold
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#5 Post by Glen Gold » May 11th, 2019, 9:55 am

Ones I've had at that price point, which you can still find, and which did not make me sad have been Chateau Senejac, Jax Y3 Taureau, The Fableist Paso Robles and Lanessan.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#6 Post by Rory K. » May 11th, 2019, 10:16 am

For Bordeaux, I'll echo Lanessan and Senejac as great <20 Medoc Cabernet blends. For California the only one I've had was Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet. Surprisingly bright and elegant for the price and producer.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#7 Post by Gabe Berk » May 11th, 2019, 10:48 am

Joel Gott and CS Wines of Substance come to mind. Hard to find in that price point.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#8 Post by Bud Carey » May 11th, 2019, 10:50 am

Educated Guess??
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#9 Post by Nick F. » May 11th, 2019, 11:01 am

Maybe the question should be what big red should I be drinking sub 20?

Rioja, Chianti?
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#10 Post by danupdike » May 11th, 2019, 11:13 am

Foxglove
The Charles & Charles Cab/Syrah has been pretty good at times (again another Charles Smith affiliated wine).

I would try some Spanish Monastrell perhaps if you want to break out of Cab.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#11 Post by Robert M yers » May 11th, 2019, 11:14 am

Maybe Zinfandel...you can get Bedrock Old Vine for $20. Perfect bbq/pizza leave the rest for the next day type wine.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#12 Post by J O S H L O N G » May 11th, 2019, 11:20 am

Educated Guess isn’t bad for $18 or so. Franciscan. Louis Martini Napa for $25-$30

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#13 Post by Pat Martin » May 11th, 2019, 11:43 am

From Bordeaux (some have a goodly amount of Merlot):
Lanessan
Tour St Bonnet
Charmail
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#14 Post by Hank Victor » May 11th, 2019, 11:47 am

Came here to say Substance from Washington State. I would also look at Chile for some Cabernet's based at that price point.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#15 Post by Arv R » May 11th, 2019, 11:50 am

Hank Victor wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:47 am
Came here to say Substance from Washington State. I would also look at Chile for some Cabernet's based at that price point.
From Chile I think both Cousino Macul's Antinguas Reservas and Porta's Gran Reserva cabernets are very solid, distinctive choices in the sub $20 sweepstakes. More mint on the former, more red fruit on the latter.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#16 Post by Joe Raymond » May 11th, 2019, 12:02 pm

2015 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley. Might be able to find it at $20.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#17 Post by Brian Gilp » May 11th, 2019, 12:51 pm

look to Aglianico from southern Italy.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#18 Post by Mike Maguire » May 11th, 2019, 12:56 pm

I always have Ste. Michelle Indian Wells on hand, very good for $12

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#19 Post by Tom DeBiase » May 11th, 2019, 1:45 pm

The Marietta Arme is Cab based and is $20.00 give or take a couple dollars.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#20 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 11th, 2019, 1:49 pm

Robert M yers wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:14 am
Maybe Zinfandel...you can get Bedrock Old Vine for $20. Perfect bbq/pizza leave the rest for the next day type wine.
+1

One of the best values in the world of wine.

Lanessan if you need the Cab-blend.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#21 Post by Frank Z » May 11th, 2019, 1:52 pm

Vina Cobos Felino Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza?
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#22 Post by Lee Short » May 11th, 2019, 1:54 pm

Nick F. wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:01 am
Maybe the question should be what big red should I be drinking sub 20?

Rioja, Chianti?
Rioja and Chianti are not the recs I'd be making for Cabernet substitutes, at least not typical Rioja and Chianto. But really -- what are some examples of Cabernets you have liked?

I think Zinfandel is a good rec, though it usually lacks tannin. That may or may not be to your taste. But they are often big wines. The same for some southern Rhone reds or spanish Monastell like Altos de la Hoya.

I agree that Aglianico may be a good choice, as would be some wines from Ribero del Duero, Priorat, Douro, and Nero d'Avola. If you like leaner cabernet, maybe also Irouleguy and Cahors and even Chinon in riper years.

But I think specific producer recs will generally have to wait until you give us a few examples of Cabernets you've liked.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#23 Post by Thomas Keim » May 11th, 2019, 2:09 pm

If you are going to stick to new world Cabernet - this Chilean Cabernet has always been my benchmark -

COUSINO MACUL - Cabernet Sauvignon - Antiguas Riservas
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#24 Post by Peter Kleban » May 11th, 2019, 2:21 pm

Try Veleta (Dominio Buenavista), contact Nola Palomar on this board to get some)

2014 Xavier Flouret Cabernet Sauvignon Oscar
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#25 Post by Peter Petersen » May 11th, 2019, 2:37 pm

No specifics but there are many very good cabs from AU that are well priced, with the ones from from western AU being a bit more civilized.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#26 Post by Eric S n y d e r » May 11th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Keep an eye out for quality half bottles. I’m often in the same boat as you, know I won’t drink a whole bottle, but want something that isn’t plonk.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#27 Post by J. Rock » May 11th, 2019, 4:26 pm

I don't have the experience with cab that many on here do, but I think Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Marqués de Casa Concha (out of Chile) is quite good for the money.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#28 Post by Matt W » May 11th, 2019, 4:36 pm

I recently had Educated Guess and found it to be too ripe for my tastes (albeit a well made wine). If you prefer a riper style then it may be a good choice.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#29 Post by Jon Clayton » May 11th, 2019, 5:13 pm

I am still learning the ropes here and hope that I do not get banned for this - tonight we are drinking Kirkland Cabernet Oakville (2016). It was 18.99 at my local Costco and I can find absolutely nothing to complain about at this price point.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#30 Post by Sean_S » May 11th, 2019, 5:17 pm

This stuff is yummy for the $15 tariff....

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#31 Post by Albert R » May 11th, 2019, 6:07 pm

Thomas Keim wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 2:09 pm
If you are going to stick to new world Cabernet - this Chilean Cabernet has always been my benchmark -

COUSINO MACUL - Cabernet Sauvignon - Antiguas Riservas
+1, good stuff in your price range. Good weekday sipper.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#32 Post by Michael Martin » May 11th, 2019, 6:12 pm

Good Syrahs from Santa Barbera County in that price range. Highly recommend Jaffurs for around $22-23. Loads of complexity.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#33 Post by Jim Brennan » May 11th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Glen Gold wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 9:55 am
Ones I've had at that price point, which you can still find, and which did not make me sad have been Chateau Senejac, Jax Y3 Taureau, The Fableist Paso Robles and Lanessan.
He very clearly indicated that his interest was California wines.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#34 Post by Rory K. » May 11th, 2019, 6:51 pm

Jim Brennan wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 6:48 pm
Glen Gold wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 9:55 am
Ones I've had at that price point, which you can still find, and which did not make me sad have been Chateau Senejac, Jax Y3 Taureau, The Fableist Paso Robles and Lanessan.
He very clearly indicated that his interest was California wines.
No, the op did not.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#35 Post by P Intag » May 11th, 2019, 7:02 pm

For affordable Cabernet, I look to Australia. I'm talking about Yaldara (base bottling), Vasse Felix Filius, Leeuwin Prelude, Kilikanoon Killerman's Run, Kaesler (base bottling), Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa, and maybe a few others. These are not the Aussie fruit bombs from days of yore, but nicely balanced Cabs with good varietal character. (the Yaldara and Thorn-Clarke are ripe and fruity but not over the top, the others are more on the elegant side).
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#36 Post by Jim Brennan » May 11th, 2019, 8:00 pm

Rory K. wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 6:51 pm
Jim Brennan wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 6:48 pm
Glen Gold wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 9:55 am
Ones I've had at that price point, which you can still find, and which did not make me sad have been Chateau Senejac, Jax Y3 Taureau, The Fableist Paso Robles and Lanessan.
He very clearly indicated that his interest was California wines.
No, the op did not.
You're correct... Man, I could swear I read and re-read that he referenced California, but it appears I'm seeing things. Must have been those Denver Magic Mushrooms I ate! ;) Apologies all around!

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#37 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 11th, 2019, 8:21 pm

.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#38 Post by GregT » May 11th, 2019, 8:25 pm

No need to apologize Jim - instead double down! Spell it in caps! It's the way we do it now.

Anyway, we all read or misread things from time to time.

But I can't imagine any sub-$20 Cab that I'd really want to drink. A few years ago maybe, but $20 is the new $15, so you really have to go over $20 unless you want something sweet and uninteresting. As others suggested, I'd go to another grape variety. Aglianico is a good choice, or maybe Syrah, depending on the producer. Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero or Toro, but again, you're going to be spending a few bucks more than $20 unless you shop sales and clearances. Xinomavro if you can find any.

Some of the suggestions aren't bad - Novelty Hill for example, but that's north of $20 these days. And don't forget to look at Merlot - most people can't tell the dif anyway and it's often cheaper than Cab.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#39 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 11th, 2019, 8:27 pm

Nick F. wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:01 am
big red... sub 20?
Here are five sub-$20 Big Red wines which I've sampled in the last few months:

Treana Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, California, USA
This is an exceptionally hot wine, which smells of cinnamon stick & cloves & Christmas cake & gingerbread cookies with peppermint frosting. It burns so bad going down that it reminds me of swallowing Bacardi Gold & wondering whether the lining of my esophagus will be able to regenerate itself or if I'll be stuck with scar tissue for the remainder of my life.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/trea ... rnet/1/usa

2015 Clos de los Siete by Michel Rolland
Uco Valley near Mendoza, Argentina
58% Malbec, 23% Merlot, 10% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 1% Petit Verdot.
Quite smooth, nice sweet fruit, no obvious oak. Very polished winemaking for this style & this market segment & this intended audience.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/clos+siete/1/usa

2012 Vinalba Malbec Gran Reserva by Hervé J. Fabre
Uco Valley near Mendoza, Argentina
Very tasty Malbec fruit with a little age & just a touch of oak on it; can go a week or more without oxidizing.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/2012 ... erva/1/usa

2016 Domaine Amido Merlot
Tavel, Southern Rhone, France
Big sloppy Merlot fruit with accompanying Big Oak; very aggressively priced for a wine which crossed the Atlantic from France.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/amido+merlot/1/usa

2017 Patrick Lambert Chinon "Gourmandise"
Chinon, Loire, France
Cabernet Franc
Big Dark Fruit, Huge Acid. Might offer a hook into The Dark Side.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/patr ... dise/1/usa
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#40 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 11th, 2019, 8:44 pm

GregT wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 8:25 pm
$20 is the new $15
If not the new $10.

There's no question but that it's gettting harder & harder every year to find great table wines in the sub-$20 range.

They're there, but boy oh boy, somebody's gotta invest a whole lotta elbow grease in finding them.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#41 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 11th, 2019, 8:52 pm

Peter Petersen wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 2:37 pm
No specifics but there are many very good cabs from AU that are well priced, with the ones from from western AU being a bit more civilized.
In our market, we don't get diddly squat from Australia anymore.

A few years ago, we saw some "Three Rings" shiraz, from Chris Ringland, but that pipeline closed down real fast.

Ringland does have the "Southern Belle" label, with Dan Phillips, aged in old Pappy Van Winkle Kentucky Bourbon barrels, and coming in at something like 17.6% alcohol.

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/southern+belle/1/usa

That's definitely a BIG RED wine at less than $20.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#42 Post by jcoley3 » May 11th, 2019, 8:58 pm

Two Cal Cabs that I hawk at retail and haven't seen mentioned: True Myth out of Paso Robles and Requiem out of Washington.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#43 Post by Jim Brennan » May 11th, 2019, 9:48 pm

GregT wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 8:25 pm
No need to apologize Jim - instead double down! Spell it in caps! It's the way we do it now.

Anyway, we all read or misread things from time to time.

But I can't imagine any sub-$20 Cab that I'd really want to drink. A few years ago maybe, but $20 is the new $15, so you really have to go over $20 unless you want something sweet and uninteresting. As others suggested, I'd go to another grape variety. Aglianico is a good choice, or maybe Syrah, depending on the producer. Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero or Toro, but again, you're going to be spending a few bucks more than $20 unless you shop sales and clearances. Xinomavro if you can find any.

Some of the suggestions aren't bad - Novelty Hill for example, but that's north of $20 these days. And don't forget to look at Merlot - most people can't tell the dif anyway and it's often cheaper than Cab.
Yes, I rarely consider much from the US at this price point... so much of it has perceptible residual sugar.

Malbec from France, Temperanillo from Spain, and a host of red wines from Italy.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#44 Post by Scott Brunson » May 12th, 2019, 5:53 am

Nick F. wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:01 am
Maybe the question should be what big red should I be drinking sub 20?

Rioja, Chianti?
Syrah/Grenache/Carignan etc. from Languedoc-Roussillon.
Many examples at or near that price point.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#45 Post by Joe Chanley » May 12th, 2019, 6:16 am

La rioja Alta vina alberdi is a super value in rioja

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#46 Post by dave kammerer » May 12th, 2019, 7:07 am

2016 Josh and Twenty Bench are both drinkable and under $20. Both readily available.

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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#47 Post by Nick F. » May 12th, 2019, 7:13 am

Really great insights. Will be making a Binny’s run later.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#48 Post by JDavisRoby » May 12th, 2019, 7:33 am

Right at $20 but we’ve enjoyed Ancient Peaks Cabernet lately.

And, I’ll second the merlot recommendation. On days I want a Cabernet but not open an expensive bottle I’m reaching for merlot more and more.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#49 Post by Kris Patten » May 12th, 2019, 8:11 am

GregT wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 8:25 pm
Some of the suggestions aren't bad - Novelty Hill for example, but that's north of $20 these days. And don't forget to look at Merlot - most people can't tell the dif anyway and it's often cheaper than Cab.
Not super hard to find in WA, so I may have a bit of home bias on better pricing.

As for Merlot, that would open a world of WA wines, and frankly Merlot is more tannic than Cabernet in WA and acts more like Cabernet. Price points are generally well below $20 for very high quality wines, this includes BDX blends in WA that are Merlot heavy.
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Re: Sub $20 Cabernet based wines

#50 Post by Mike Kuller » May 12th, 2019, 11:05 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:14 am
Maybe Zinfandel...you can get Bedrock Old Vine for $20. Perfect bbq/pizza leave the rest for the next day type wine.
Also Turley Juvenile zin about the same price.
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