Best Cabernet Sauvignon

By Amy Reiley

Top Cabernet Sauvignon Wines

For many red wine lovers, Cabernet Sauvignon (or “Cab”) is the king of wines. The Cabernet grape typically produces big-bodied red wines well suited for aging. Although Cab is known as a Bordeaux varietal, remarkable Cabernet Sauvignons are produced around the world.

Here is a taste of some of the best. We’ve tried to comprise our list of not only those wines you’d expect to find on a Best Cabernet list but also introduce you to new Cabs to try, as well as the best value wines in their class.

> Check out GAYOT’s Wine of the Week.

1. 2015 Joseph Phelps Insignia

2015 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Origin: Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.
Varietal: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
Price: $275
ABV: 14.5%

For American Cabernet Sauvignon lovers, the Napa Valley is the place for great wine. And for those who follow Napa wine, you know why the 2015 Insignia tops our Best Cabernet Sauvignon list. Made from 90% Cabernet, carefully blended, this vintage is, simply put, a knockout. It is rich with blackberry and cassis, cocoa, graphite, cedar and the grip of grainy tannins. This is a wine you could drink now or cellar for 10-15 years.

> For more information, visit the Joseph Phelps official website.

2. 2015 Château Mouton Rothschild

2015 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Origin: Pauillac, France
Varietal: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
Price: $650
ABV: 14%

2015 was a great year for many, although not all, Bordeaux vintners. The year blessed Mouton Rothschild with one of its finest vintages of all time. If you are a collector, this is one to snap up quick, if you can. A deeply colored wine, it offers exuberant black fruit flavors balanced with sexy spices. It is a wine you could drink now, if you really can’t wait, but it will continue to evolve and potentially improve for a decade or more.

> For more information, visit the Château Mouton Rothschild official website.

3. 2014 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC

2014 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC

Origin: Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC, Italy
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc
Price: $160
ABV: 13%

Another world-renowned wine having a remarkable vintage, the 2014 Sassicaia truly puts Italian Cabernet on the map. Garnet-hued, it offers raspberry and black cherry fruit intermingled with intense baking spices and just a hint of sweaty leather. For a Cabernet, it feels surprisingly weightless on the tongue. Yet it lingers long, making sure that its impression is made.

> For more information, visit the Tenuta San Guido official website.

4. 2015 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

2015 Pichon-Longueville Baron

Origin: Pauillac, France
Varietal: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot
ABV: 13.5%

Yet another home run for Bordeaux’s Pauillac region, the 2015 Château Pichon-Barone easily makes our list of the Best Cabernets. A rich, full-flavored wine, it offers the best of summer berries and the intensity of winter spices, making it a good choice for any time of the year. The wine’s velvety tannins give it sensual texture as well as ageability. Château Pichon-Baron Longueville is Second Grand Cru Classé in 1855.

> For more information, visit the Pichon-Longueville Baron official website.

5. 2013 LVE Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 LVE Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot
Price: $85
ABV: 15%

If Phelps Insignia represents the great winemaking history of the Napa Valley, LVE stands as a totem of the present. This wine, in its presentation, its flavor profile and lineage, is what’s happening now. This seductive Cabernet, a newcomer on the Napa scene, is a collaboration between French vintner Jean-Charles Boisset and famed American musician John Legend. The wine offers powerful blackberry and black currant fruit with hints of espresso and oak.

> For more information, visit the LVE Wines official website.

6. 2016 DAOU Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 DAOU Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Paso Robles, California, U.S.A.
Varietal: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot
Price: $50
ABV: 14.5%

Paso Robles is not California’s most popular Cabernet-producing region, but it is a region highly respected by anyone who loves intense, mature red wines. This reserve wine from DAOU perfectly expresses all that there is to love about Paso Cab. An intense and highly extracted wine, it offers complex aromas and flavors of black plum, cherry, cassis, olive, mushroom, cedar and spice all delivered with drama and great length. If you aren’t prepared to have your mouth stained, do not drink this wine!

> For more information, visit the DAOU Vineyards official website.

7. 2016 Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Coonawarra, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: $17
ABV: 14%

When it comes to Cabernet, Coonawarra is Australia’s answer to the Napa Valley. This region is known for producing outstanding Cabernet and Penley Estate’s Phoenix sets the bar high for great wines in an affordable price range. A dark and richly concentrated wine, it offers tongue-coating tannins, intense blackberry and cassis flavors and a persistent curry spice. Although it’s under $20, Phoenix drinks like a much higher priced wine.

> For more information, visit the Penley Estate official website.

8. 2016 Obsidian Ridge Half Mile Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County

2016 Obsidian Ridge Half Mile Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County

Origin: Red Hills Lake County, California, U.S.A.
Varietal: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petite Sirah, 8% Petit Verdot
Price: $65
ABV: 14.7%

The Red Hills region’s potential for Cabernet is relatively untapped, but it may very well be the future of California red wine. Obsidian Ridge is most definitely blazing a trail for the region. Their 2016 Half Mile is a well-structured wine with glorious spice notes on both the nose and palate. Fruit flavors of plum and black cherry mingle with toasted oak notes and chocolate toward the back of the palate.

> For more information, visit the Obsidian Ridge official website.

9. 2016 Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet

2016 Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet

Origin: Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: $34
ABV: 14.5%

Unlike many of the wines on this list, which represent something exciting and undiscovered, this wine makes our Best Cabernets list for the exact opposite reason. This is a wine you can count on, year after year, to represent exactly what Napa Valley Cabernet is all about. Made with grapes from two iconic Napa appellations, Oakville and Stags Leap, it is a textbook wine. It won’t excite or surprise you but it will deliver a crowd-pleasing, full-bodied Cabernet with loads of ripe fruit, firm tannins and modest spice, all at a very fair price.

> For more information, visit the Robert Mondavi official website.