Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet 2005 $69.99
One star from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "10% Merlot; 3% Cabernet Franc. Plentiful, well-ripened black-cherry fruit and sweet, slightly toasty oak spice quickly surpass initial notes of dried herbs and earth in the nose and become the central themes of this nicely made, fairly full-bodied young Cabernet's slightly succulent flavors. Solidly built and firmed by evident tannins, yet never tough and already showing the first signs of suppleness, the wine should round into shape with but a few years of age." (August 2008) This is a true Napa Valley cab, comprised of fruit from all reaches of the Valley—from the warm, northern vineyards in Calistoga to cool Carneros sites. Including fruit from the varied microclimates in Napa makes for a big, yet balanced wine, that boasts fig, blackberry and cassis aromas on the nose and spice-spiked black fruit flavors on the palate. Firm, ripe tannins and hints of chocolate and fresh-roasted coffee round out the wine's finish.