red wine

31 California Cabs for International Cabernet Day

International Cabernet Sauvignon Day is celebrated on the Thursday before Labor Day annually, making the big day August 31 this year. In its honor, here are 31 fantastic California Cabernets, the world’s most planted wine grape. 

Leoness Cellars 2019 Vineyard Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolling Hills Vineyard

Temecula is a Cabernet region on the rise. Case in point: this beautiful expression, which is a celebration of tart blackberry and juicy plum balanced by black licorice and just a touch of cocoa nib. $65

Carter Estate Winery 2014 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Another treat from Temecula, this bottle is aged for 24 months in French oak. Expect a lovely woody essence both in the bouquet and flavor profile of this gold-etched bottle. There is an impressive structure, plus some really beautiful forest floor and cassis notes. $52.99

2020 Osprey Cabernet Sauvignon

Named after the majestic Osprey Fish Eagles residing in Truett Hurst’s Dry Creek ecosystem, this limited-edition California Cabernet is sourced from one of the world’s most prestigious Napa Valley vineyards. It is a perfect mix of dark chocolate, cedar and black fruits in every bottle and tastes best when decanted for an hour. $100

Newton Vineyard Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Napa Valley

A killer Cab from Calistoga, this bottle is dense, complex, well-structured and…yes…unfiltered. It has a very cool wild cherry vibe, mixed with baking spices and tobacco, and boasts an exceptionally long finish. $80

Robert Hall Winery 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

Made in the heart of Paso Robles, this wine offers aromas of black currants, cedar, and spice with flavors of cocoa and plush ripe fruit, all supported by delectable, velvety tannins. $20

2021 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon

Hello, blackberry! This Paso Robles stunner bewitches with its dark fruit but also offers kisses of cherry, cedar and even vanilla bean, balanced with a lovely acidity. $56

Rodney Strong Vineyards 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Each vintage year, this wine is made from the best Strong grapes across its Sonoma County vineyards. This particular expression has a truly lovely nose of violets. To the taste, there are absolutely notes of blackcurrant but also vanilla and cocoa, which put it over the top. $60

De La Montanya 2018 “Sybil” Cabernet Sauvignon

Such a clever name! Why? It is made from both Sonoma and Napa County grapes. Just like the character on which it is based, there is a happy ending here as well. Enjoy a variety of flavors with this California Cabernet, ranging from vanilla and spice to oak and ripe black plums. $85

california cabernet Faust

Faust 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

Faust is known for its cutting-edge Napa wines. This vintage is herbaceous and forest-y, perfectly balanced with more delicate floral and chocolatey notes. $65

2021 Amulet Estate ‘AE’ Cabernet Sauvignon

Fruit-forward while still having both an intoxicating blend of spice, herbs and earth in every sip, enjoy big, ripe date and plum notes with this stunning vintage. $85

2019 Ettore Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Signature  

There are those signature Cabernet flavors of cassis, plum and violets here, but there are also very cool hints of juniper that help give it a really clean finish and make it exceptionally easy to enjoy another sip. $52

CASS Winery 2020 Vintage Ted

This Cabernet rocks, which is fitting given it was inspired by a rock ‘n roll vibe both in its label art and its flavor notes. Expect a surprising bouquet of roasted plum and even herbs on the nose but then a sexy trio of pomegranate reduction, coffee beans and vanilla on to the taste. $90

2020 JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon

Bing cherries are on full display in this full-bodied bottle. Enjoy notes of both plum and blackberry to the taste as well, enhanced by a variety of baking spices, oak, and even some savory herbs toward the finish. $30

2020 Eleven Eleven XI Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine marries Cabernet grapes from the 11:11 and Destin Vineyards, which come together to offer a seductive symphony of flavor notes including cherry, plum, blackberry and espresso as well as a long, lovely finish. $90

2018 Louis M. Martini Winery, Napa Valley

A quintessential Napa Cab, this bottle has a little of everything a California Cab lover wants in black cherry, blackberry plum, toasted oak, dried currants and baking spice. It is decadent while still being approachable for all red wine lovers. $55

Rombauer 2018 Proprietor’s Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Lush and lovely, this polished take on California Cabernet brings together plum, blackberry, black cherry, baking spices, cedar and even vanilla in perfect harmony. $150

Grant Burge 2020 Paso Ink Cabernet Sauvignon

This Paso wine is crafted by the respected Australian winemaker. The crème de cassis notes of sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants are especially impressive here. They are paired perfectly with floral notes and just enough blackberry for balance. $21

california cabernet Opolo Cab 1

2020 Opolo Cabernet Sauvignon

Upon opening this bottle, behold the boldest of aromatics, a wild, wonderful assortment of black olives, cinnamon and tobacco. The fragrance is almost a trick on the palate as the more savory and spicy notes give way to vanilla, toffee and blueberry. $42

Charles Woodson’s Intercept 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

While Woodson is best-known as one of the best defensive football players of all time, turns out he is just as talented off the field as well, especially in a winery. His Cabernet opens with red current and dried herbs on the nose before offering more blue and red fruits, balanced by warming spices, on the palate. $20

Rose Vine Cellars’ Red Rose Cabernet Sauvignon by Ja Rule

Yes, Ja Rule makes a Cabernet. And…it is an absolute winner. Expect cherry and dark chocolate combined with ripe blackcurrants and a silky-smooth finish. $100 (there are also autographed bottles for an enhanced fee)

CAST Cabernet Sauvignon, Schreyer Vineyard, 2019

While located in Geyserville, a California wine region known for Zinfandel, do not sleep on this luscious take on Cabernet. It offers aromatics of violet and dry earth and then reveals big black fruit and fantastic spice. $58

Carol Shelton 2017 Rockpile Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

This nearly black beauty is from the famed Rockpile appellation, which is at a 2,000-ft. elevation and allows grapes to grow though volcanic soils. The result is a celebration of black cherry and hint of chocolate in every sip. $50

Darioush 2019 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is the hallmark of the Darioush estate, a winery that incorporates traditional Persian hospitality into its modern Napa Valley roots. It is sleek with notes of wild blackberry, chai, and cacao. $125

Handwritten 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros

One of the rarest bottles available from the acclaimed Handwritten Wines, it is brightly acidic yet smooth on the finish with a dizzyingly delicious combination of white cherries and black pepper to the taste. $120

Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

There is so much to love with this bottle. First, its aromatics range from leather and dark chocolate to cedar and blackberry. Then, on the palate, it is a heavenly celebration of espresso, cigar box and sweetened blueberries. $75

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2019 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  

This is the debut Cabernet from winemaker Maggie Kruse, and what a way to start! Velvety smooth and nuanced, there are notes of black fruits as well as ultra-ripe black cherry balanced with graphite and a lingering finish. $60

C’est la Vie at Europa Village 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Thanks to aging 28 months in oak, there is a very cool essence of California Redwood to this wine. It is paired with raspberries on the nose and to the sip, as well as cherries and definite baking spices. $52

Wilson Creek Winery White Cabernet Sauvignon

Surprise! Cabernet can be made to be nearly translucent. This wild take, both visually and to the taste, offers strawberry, melon and peaches, but without being saccharine or overly sweet. $34.99

Silver Trident 2019 Twenty Seven Fathoms Cabernet Sauvignon

Aptly named given the wine’s founder is also the co-founder of Oceania Cruises, this is a rich and decadent California Cabernet in every delicious way. Enjoy every beautiful sip, which will burst with blueberry jam, black tea, allspice, plums and even a bit of mocha. $95

2020 Clif Family The Climber Red Blend

The Clif brand is born out of one family’s love of outdoor adventure, and this approachable wine was made to complement it all. Daring and bold, it has a lovely blend of juicy fruits as well as a seductive kiss of dark chocolate without being too heavy on the palate. $42

2020 DAOU Soul of a Lion

This wine ROARS. The 10th-anniversary edition of brothers Georges and Daniel Daou flagship California Cabernet and tribute to their father, Soul of a Lion is elegant and powerful, offering cassis, blackberry and sexy, steely minerality. $150

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