Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

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tpetty
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Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#1 Post by tpetty » February 3rd, 2020, 3:27 pm

I've been perusing a lot of the threads here lately (some a few years old) discussing the virtues of "mid-priced cabs." Most recommend Napa wineries that tend to have a good QPR reputation, such as Chappellel, Ridge, Round Pond, etc. However, now in 2020, most of these Napa wineries cabs are in the $60-75 range, and so starting to leave the affordable range for a regular weekday bottle (at least at my house.)

I've also seen some recommendations for several Washington cabs (or Bordeaux blends) that may be a better buy in the under $50 range - but when I go to a few of those highly regarded wineries' sites, I see that they are often in the $50-60 range now too.

I don't know much about NW wineries. I do like cabs, and red blends as well. At a price point of LESS than $50, which do you think are the best QPR - Napa/Sonoma cabs (doubt it), Washington/Oregon blends, non-Napa California cabs, etc?
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#2 Post by Hank Victor » February 3rd, 2020, 3:40 pm

Mullan Road Cellars is Dennis Cakebread's Washington state project.

Wine.com is selling the 2013 vintage for $25 (Original price is $45).
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#3 Post by Philip G » February 3rd, 2020, 4:05 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 3:40 pm
Mullan Road Cellars is Dennis Cakebread's Washington state project.

Wine.com is selling the 2013 vintage for $25 (Original price is $45).
True, most of the top Napa procedures Napa Valley Cabs have bumped up to $65+. Anderson's Conn Valley sells theirs at <$40 and has been pretty tasty some years. The Frog's Leap is very good but just topped the $50 mark.

There are so many good Cabs and cab/blends from Washington under $50. $40-$50 seems to be about the going rate unless it's a more limited production vineyard. Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills AVAs from producers like Va Piano, Gramercy, Andrew Will, Spring Valley, Sleight of Hand, Kerloo, Tranche are all solid low 90s type wines.

The '16 Va Piano Red Mountain Cab is really tasty and they were selling it at $25 at one point.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#4 Post by Juliec » February 3rd, 2020, 4:28 pm

There are still several Napa cabs that are value priced pine ridge, Clos du Val, William hill, and a lot of more moderate blends Joel gott, etc. Also, if there is a particular producer you like; you may want to see if a wine club or allocation may be provide a discount on 2-3 cases a year. Or even case discounts in the local wine shop. (Or you can buy more to stock up and cellar so that you are in essence price mitigating any increases in prices.) It may be a little more work; given the focus on value pricing - auctions may be worth a shot too.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#5 Post by Chr!s G|@rn3r » February 3rd, 2020, 4:31 pm

Here are a few. It is hard to find good/great cabs under $50. If you are willing to hunt, you can find deals that bring a lot of those wines in the $75 range down under $50. Some of the best places are last bottle wines (especially marathons), wine.com with $100 off $300 discount codes (several threads with these going now), and Benchmark Wine bin sales.

NAPA/CA
- Venge Silencieux ($47 off the list)
- Chappellet mountain cuvee
- Justin Cabernet

WASHINGTON:
- Sparkman Holler
- Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#6 Post by JDavisRoby » February 3rd, 2020, 4:45 pm

Wines of Substance?
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#7 Post by Nathan Smyth » February 3rd, 2020, 5:06 pm

Powers Champoux Reserve is starting to flirt with $50 at the winery:

https://shop.badgermtnvineyard.com/xe/x ... wers-wines

But there are retail channels with lower prices:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/powe ... ux+reserve

Powers makes both a [nearly] pure Cabernet & a Bordeaux/meritage "Red Blend" from Champoux fruit.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#8 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 3rd, 2020, 5:16 pm

Quilceda CVR is always a good value.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#9 Post by Nathan Smyth » February 3rd, 2020, 5:25 pm

Covington makes an almost inky-black Cab Franc which is very tasty:

https://covingtoncellars.com/collections/wines
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/covington+franc/

I've never had their Cabernet Sauvignon, but I imagine it would be vinified in a similar fashion.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#10 Post by Hal Blumberg » February 3rd, 2020, 5:42 pm

I suggest looking into Cadence from WA. They are red blends of CS, CF, and merlot. Their entry level wine Coda is in the mid-$20 range. I think their Ciel du Cheval and Tapteil are less than $50. Their reserve blends, Bel Canto and Camarata are slightly more than $50. They age incredibly well and are terrific values IMHO.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#11 Post by Ron Slye » February 3rd, 2020, 6:49 pm

Agree about cadence and Andrew will. Both solid wines. I would also recommend JB Neufeld. Really excellent and I think around $50.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#12 Post by Justin S » February 3rd, 2020, 7:02 pm

Domaine Eden Cabernet at $35-40 (as opposed to their flagship Mount Eden State Cab which is in the $70+ range). This is of course a Santa Cruz cab and maybe not as lush as you might want from the avg. Napa cab.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#13 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » February 3rd, 2020, 7:15 pm

Justin S wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 7:02 pm
Domaine Eden Cabernet at $35-40 (as opposed to their flagship Mount Eden State Cab which is in the $70+ range). This is of course a Santa Cruz cab and maybe not as lush as you might want from the avg. Napa cab.
+1. So good.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#14 Post by JDavisRoby » February 3rd, 2020, 7:36 pm

Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 7:15 pm
Justin S wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 7:02 pm
Domaine Eden Cabernet at $35-40 (as opposed to their flagship Mount Eden State Cab which is in the $70+ range). This is of course a Santa Cruz cab and maybe not as lush as you might want from the avg. Napa cab.
+1. So good.
Never had a bad wine made by Jeffrey and the crew at Mt Eden.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#15 Post by Brandon R » February 4th, 2020, 8:38 am

Seven Hills Winery's Columbia Valley Cab is a tremendous wine at $30 on the website (and it's a 2015...nice to have a little bottle age). Another fine choice would be the Walla Walla Valley Cabernet from L'Ecole No. 41 at $39 from the winery site. Both are fantastic and fit your inquiry nicely.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#16 Post by Lee Barnard » February 4th, 2020, 8:53 am

I really like the Andrew Will wines, although a warning that they require time and definitely are traditionally styled. You can usually find some bottlings for around $50 (or less).

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#17 Post by Danny L. » February 4th, 2020, 9:08 am

Col Solare’s second wine—Shining Hill is around $40. I’ve found them to be easy drinking.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#18 Post by Josh Grossman » February 4th, 2020, 10:27 am

I found this to be have a bit too much oak but similar in depth to $100+ Napa Cabs:
https://www.gino-vino.com/products/1321 ... ignon-2013

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#19 Post by Greg Gardner » February 4th, 2020, 10:31 am

I've always liked stuff from Basel as everyday drinkers:

https://www.baselcellars.com/wines

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#20 Post by Michael Feldman » February 4th, 2020, 10:45 am

Calluna vineyard cuvee $33

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#21 Post by Chr!s G|@rn3r » February 4th, 2020, 10:46 am

Josh Grossman wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 10:27 am
I found this to be have a bit too much oak but similar in depth to $100+ Napa Cabs:
https://www.gino-vino.com/products/1321 ... ignon-2013
That is a great price for this wine. I think I paid the same for it on LBW. Too bad gino vino doesn’t ship to PA.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#22 Post by dsimmons » February 4th, 2020, 12:26 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 5:16 pm
Quilceda CVR is always a good value.
+1

If you like the style of WA Cab it has been my experience that WA nearly always offers a price advantage at just about any level of quality. In addition to QC I am currently buying Cab based wines from Betz and Cayuse but they area bit above your $50 target.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#23 Post by Mike Stoneking » February 4th, 2020, 12:54 pm

Michael Feldman wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 10:45 am
Calluna vineyard cuvee $33
Good call. This wine drinks well above the retail price.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#24 Post by Kris Patten » February 4th, 2020, 12:57 pm

WA isn't known for Cab like Napa Valley is, so it's an odd taste off. WA makes its bones in red blends with heavy doses of Merlot which is more tannic in WA than Cab, Cab isn't ideally suited to many areas and either stays a touch under ripe or can burn in places like Red Mtn. without excellent canopy management. Horse Heaven Hills is best place for Cab IMO.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#25 Post by Bob Watt » February 6th, 2020, 4:29 pm

I second what Hal & Ron were saying on Cadence Winery. The Taptiel & Ceil de Cheval bottlings are normally $45 and worth every penny.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#26 Post by Brian Glas » February 6th, 2020, 7:55 pm

I really enjoy the JB Neufeld, Eight Bells, Lobo Hills, and Kevin White cabernet based wines from Washington State. All are excellent QPRs.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#27 Post by GregT » February 6th, 2020, 8:07 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 12:57 pm
WA isn't known for Cab like Napa Valley is, so it's an odd taste off. WA makes its bones in red blends with heavy doses of Merlot which is more tannic in WA than Cab, Cab isn't ideally suited to many areas and either stays a touch under ripe or can burn in places like Red Mtn. without excellent canopy management. Horse Heaven Hills is best place for Cab IMO.
Yeah but Kris - Merlot has a lesser reputation in the US because a lot of it was planted in horrible sites and it produced watery wines. But without knowing beforehand what's in the glass, or being particularly familiar with the specific sites, given the two blind most people wouldn't be able to tell which was which. And that actually brings up another point - a lot of those Cab producers that are increasing prices do make pretty comparable Merlot at lower prices. And given that in CA most Cab isn't 100% anyway, one thing the OP can do is look at Merlot bottlings from the producers he likes.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#28 Post by Brandon R » February 7th, 2020, 9:37 am

I sure with Todd (the OP) would circle back and engage in the conversation he started. I hope he takes some of the suggestions and tries them. I'm curious, Todd, what do you drink most frequently, and what do you prefer? Asked another way, if you had a special occasion that called for a special bottle in your cellar, what would you grab?
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#29 Post by Brian Lynch » February 7th, 2020, 10:03 am

in WA, Januik is great young and ages well for a long time.

I also like Owen Roe at that price point.

There is a ton at 60 and above.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#30 Post by tpetty » February 8th, 2020, 9:13 am

Thanks for the replies - some wines I definitely need to try. To circle back, as Brandon had suggested -

We drink mostly cabs, and usually Napa (but like other reds as well, although pinot usually not as much.) However, I am unwilling to open a $75 bottle of wine several times a week. (My "special occasion" wines are going to be those $75-$150 Napa cabs.)

I really don't have much experience with NW red wines. That is something that I need to more actively try. I did recently order a mixed case of cabs/red blends, recommended on a different thread discussing a $20 price point, and those are obviously not Napa wines. (Also got a case from Davenport Cellars, discussed in a closeout thread - phenomenal at $10!)

My interest in this thread is really learning more about what I consider a "mid-range" price, and my willingness/interest in trying well regarded wines that are usually not going to be highly regarded Napa cabs. We currently belong to several wine clubs/lists (getting only reds) including Frog's Leap, Myriad/Quivet, Frank Family, and Hendry Ranch (just started this one after the great 3 hour tour/seminar we went on last fall. They are reasonably priced, and although it appears they may not have the highest rated wines, George Hendry was a great guy, and I'm happy to support a family production.) I have bought a little Realm from their mailing list, and just got their offering last week - but woah! Those are definitely NOT mid-range! Cheapest bottle was >$100. I'm passing this time. Also signed up for Bedrock & Lokoya's mailing lists recently.

I will be getting some wines at this "cheaper" price point via BerzerkerDay purchases (including Calluna Cuvee, Scherrer Zin, Sandler Pinot, Virage) as well as some of the Salt Vine Cab (which is pricier.) We used to use California Wine Club as our provider for "cheap" daily wines. However, while they are cheap, they were usually not very good. I cancelled that last year after I found this site, and realized I should be able to find reasonably priced wines - that are probably better - than I was getting with that service.

I would like to try some of these recommendations at some point in the near future, such as Cadence, kenefick Ranch, - but right now my wine "closet" is full. Literally. I need to slow down on my purchases!
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#31 Post by Scott G r u n e r » February 8th, 2020, 10:05 am

I dont really buy much in this category these days, i think gramercy cab is the closest. Used to buy betz, but feel they are over the price range now.

A bit of an off the beaten path option, if you like more restrained models, I typically enjoy the Columbia Crest Walter Clore Reserve- I think normal price is around $30, but it will sometimes show up for $20. Whenever I drink it I wonder why I didnt buy more, especially at that price.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#32 Post by GregT » February 8th, 2020, 11:03 am

Yep. It's an under-appreciated wine. Some of the others mentioned are good options. My list would be Calluna, thanks to Mr. Stoneking, and in WA -
  • Januik,
    Cadence,
    Andrew Will,
    Pepper Bridge,
    Canoe Ridge,
    Bookwalter,
    L'Ecole 41,
    Hedges,
    Woodward Canyon,
    Arbor Crest,
    Robert Karl,
    Barrister,
    Seven Hills,
    Sleight of Hand,
    Isenhower,
    Cougar Crest.
Again, check out the Merlot as well as the Cab. Northstar was created to specialize in Merlot but it never knocked me out. Don't overlook the Chateau St. Michelle offerings - they do some smaller lots that are pretty decent.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#33 Post by R. Halbert » February 8th, 2020, 11:28 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 5:16 pm
Quilceda CVR is always a good value.
+1
Rich

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#34 Post by Albert R » February 9th, 2020, 5:19 am

GregT wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 11:03 am
Yep. It's an under-appreciated wine. Some of the others mentioned are good options. My list would be Calluna, thanks to Mr. Stoneking, and in WA -
  • Januik,
    Cadence,
    Andrew Will,
    Pepper Bridge,
    Canoe Ridge,
    Bookwalter,
    L'Ecole 41,
    Hedges,
    Woodward Canyon,
    Arbor Crest,
    Robert Karl,
    Barrister,
    Seven Hills,
    Sleight of Hand,
    Isenhower,
    Cougar Crest.
Again, check out the Merlot as well as the Cab. Northstar was created to specialize in Merlot but it never knocked me out. Don't overlook the Chateau St. Michelle offerings - they do some smaller lots that are pretty decent.
Good advice on the Merlot. I don’t check them out as much as I should.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#35 Post by John Glas » February 13th, 2020, 3:25 pm

A bit of an off the beaten path option, if you like more restrained models, I typically enjoy the Columbia Crest Walter Clore Reserve- I think normal price is around $30, but it will sometimes show up for $20. Whenever I drink it I wonder why I didnt buy more, especially at that price.
I loved the Walter Clore wines from late 90s!

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#36 Post by Nathan Smyth » February 13th, 2020, 4:54 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 12:57 pm
WA isn't known for Cab like Napa Valley is, so it's an odd taste off. WA makes its bones in red blends with heavy doses of Merlot which is more tannic in WA than Cab, Cab isn't ideally suited to many areas and either stays a touch under ripe or can burn in places like Red Mtn. without excellent canopy management.
A Washington Merlot just had a very impressive performance in this Berserker tasting [of Bordeaux cultivars from Washington & California]:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=167410
.

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#37 Post by AD Northup » February 13th, 2020, 8:35 pm

Brandon R wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 8:38 am
Seven Hills Winery's Columbia Valley Cab is a tremendous wine at $30 on the website (and it's a 2015...nice to have a little bottle age). Another fine choice would be the Walla Walla Valley Cabernet from L'Ecole No. 41 at $39 from the winery site. Both are fantastic and fit your inquiry nicely.
Second Seven Hills. Can often find it on sale for $25 or so too.
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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#38 Post by Gray G » February 14th, 2020, 5:14 am

R. Halbert wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 11:28 pm
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 5:16 pm
Quilceda CVR is always a good value.
+1
no doubt

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Re: Pacific NW Cabs/blends vs California - at the $50 price point

#39 Post by Ron F r e e d » February 14th, 2020, 6:35 am

Todd,

In the event that you might be interested in a Napa cab at the under $50 price-point, I noticed that the 2014 Heitz Napa's price has dropped to the $45-50 range. I've enjoyed this twice recently and am holding a few more for the next several (or more) years. It reminds me of what I recall being stylistically similar to Napa wines from the 90's, many of which are still drinking quite well.

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