A beautiful wine that’s softly tannic and lush, with intricate waves of blackberries, cherries, dark chocolate and sweet sandalwood. The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now–2015.— S.H.
A clean, spicy Chardonnay, with classic flavors of oranges, green apples, pears and spices. The oak influence is minimal, allowing the fruit and acidity to star. This shows an elegance that places it at the forefront of Chardonnays in this price range.— S.H.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot, this is aged in French oak. Muted aromatically at first, it opens into toasty oak and black plum fruit that’s restrained and quiet. Grippy tannins show up on the finish.— V.B.
There’s lots of rich Chardonnay character in this affordable wine. It’s rich with vanilla, buttered toast, honey, orange and pineapple-jam flavors, with brisk acidity providing balance. Great price for a Chard this good.— S.H.
A perfectly fine Cabernet, with ripe blackberry, black currant and herb flavors. Does a good job at a fair price.— S.H.
A small Napa producer without cult status-lucky for us, or the price would be double. It has soft plum aromas, with round, juicy, plummy flavors. Well-balanced and deliciously appealing for drinking through 2004.— W.E.
An affordable wine that’ll please a host of palates, this SB was fermented in stainless steel before 40% of it spent two months aging in new French oak. The result is a florally aromatic wine with straightforward layers of pineapple and vanilla and juiciness on the finish.— V.B.
Juicy in black and red berry, this relatively inexpensive Cabernet is aged in both French and American oak. Tannins are soft and subtle, the power building on the finish.— V.B.