Despite the enormous influence of California's wineries, too few specialize in premium wines at value prices. One that does is Cartlidge & Browne. Avoiding the extra oak and other types of manipulation used by some vintners, Cartlidge & Browne produces fruity, pure, and vibrant wines that reflect varietals' personalities. Even better, it offers sensational quality at bargain-basement prices.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon - The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits black currant, dried herb, earth, and spice characteristics. It is a soft, fruit-driven, medium-bodied wine to consume over the next two to three years. $12-$15