How to pick a great bottle at a great price? Use our lessons from the 2013 Sunset International Wine Competition
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Many wines count on sticker shock to deliver a marketing message. (A $100 bottle has to be good, right?) Without the ability to flash their price in our blind judging, the expensive wines rode on merit alone. These bottles earned exceptional scores.
- Betz Family 2010 “Père de Famille” Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley; $68). Dark chocolate and leather under gorgeous cassis and black cherry.
- Kenefick Ranch 2009 “Chris’s Cuvée” Cabernet Sauvignon (Calistoga, Napa Valley; $65). Concentrated but fresh, minty blackberry with elegant tannins and a streak of minerality.
- La Rochelle 2010 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands; $75). Big, ripe, and round, with black cherry, cola, and silky tannins.
- Ravenswood 2010 Old Hill Single Vineyard Zinfandel (Sonoma Valley; $60). Violets, pepper, and spice over layers of black fruit.
- Trinchero 2009 Cloud’s Nest Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder, Napa Valley; $70). Black cherry and cassis with whiffs of violet and cedar.
- V. Sattui 2009 “Paradiso” (Napa Valley; $70). Juicy cherry-berry fruit with cinnamon, cocoa, and vanilla shadings.