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Monday, February 8, 2016

Where to Get Your Cabernet Fix in Sonoma County

Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of red wines. A wine you can age, you can serve with a great dinner, a wine of complexity. When most visitors come to the area thinking of Cab they think of Napa Valley. And Napa does have lots of great, and usually expensive, Cabernet, but maybe you should think Sonoma.

You'll need a reservation to get in here
Cab grows in lots of places in Sonoma County. Probably Alexander Valley is the most well-known area, but there are great Cabs grown in Rockpile, Dry Creek, Knights Valley, Sonoma Valley, Moon Mountain, and Sonoma Mountain. Some of these growing areas you've probably never heard of because they are small and contain no wineries (or maybe just one or two).

When looking for Sonoma County Cabernet you're most likely to find Alexander Vly, Dry Creek Vly, or Sonoma Vly on the label. In fact, pretty much any tasting room you visit in these areas will have Cabernet available. However, if you run across a Cab grown in Knights Vly, Moon Mtn, or Rockpile these will be pretty special wines.

Below are a few places to get your Cab fix. All are open daily and they are spread all over the county.  Many will offer other Bordeaux-type wines, like Merlot or Cab Franc. A number of these wineries sell an excellent Cabernet in the $20s -- good luck finding that in Napa!

Sonoma Valley. Arrowood and Cabernet go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Alexander Valley Vyds
Alexander Valley. One of the original from way back in the 1970s and still a favorite.

Rodney Strong
Alexander Vly. Lush Cabs. Their estate Cab at 20-something dollars is a great deal.

Dry Creek. Cabernet is his specialty, no extra charge for the view.

Silver Oak
Alexander Vly. You can't talk about Cab and not mention Silver Oak. 

Alexander Vly. Several great Cabs.

St. Francis
Sonoma Vly. Besides the Cabernets check out the Merlot.

Alexander Vly. Cabs from Alexander Vly and Rockpile.

Healdsburg. Cabs and Cab blends are his specialty.

Healdsburg. It's a Cabernet house.

FWIW, some personal favorites from over the years:
Hanna Bismark Mtn Cab, Kenwood Vyds Jack London Cab, Simi Landslide Cab, and pretty much anything from the Rockpile appellation or Monte Rosso vineyards.