10 Best Cabernet Sauvignon Wines in California (2022)

10 Best Cabernet Sauvignon Wines in California Featured

Full of Flavor

Cabernet Sauvignon is considered the world’s most popular red grape. It’s native to Bordeaux, France, and it’s a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Wine enthusiasts love Cabernet Sauvignon for its dynamism, high flavor concentration, and aging potential.


Best Overall Best Value Best Cheap Under $15 Best Under $20 Best Under $25 Best Under $30 Best Under $40 Best Under $50 Best Under $100 Best With Unlimited Budget
Bottle
Name Orin Swift Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Aged in Bourbon Barrels DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Buena Vista Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon Opus One Overture N.V.
Color Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red
Country United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States
Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Taste Smoke, Licorice, Fennel, Bell Pepper, Berry Compote, Blackberry, Boysenberry, Black Tea Raspberry, Fig, Cassis, Cinnamon Spice, Raisin, Rhubarb, Peach, Violet Boysenberry, Fig, Prune, Bramble, Cassis, Leather, Vanilla Custard, Cherry Pie Boysenberry, Cherry, Plum, Prune, Dried Herbs, Blackberry, Blueberry, Leather Raspberry, Bramble, Fig, Prune, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cinnamon Spice, Vanilla, Cassis Bramble, Cherry Pie, Leather, Mint, Prune, Black Olives, Sage, Mocha Black Fruits, Cinnamon Spice, Vanilla, Dried Herbs, Oak, Raspberry, Cinnamon Spice Blackberry, Vanilla Bean, Caramel, Butter, Mint, Bramble Prune, Bramble, Fig, Dried Herb, Lavender, Leather, Mushrooms, Gouda Charred Wood, Barrel Aging, Smoke, Blackberry, Blueberry, Fig, Herbs
Food Pairing Roast Beef, Filet Mignon, Roast Duck, Gourmet Burger, Gorgonzola Meaty Stews, Seared Lamb Chops, Strong Cheeses, Dark Chocolate Filet Mignon, Slow-braised Beef, Meatloaf, Roasted Vegetables, Smoked Tofu Roasted Duck, Lamb Chops, Black Bean Burger, Portobello Mushrooms Black Angus Burgers, Barbecue, Rack Of Lamb, Beef Jerky Grilled Beef Steak, Pork Chops, Roast Chicken, Lamb Ribs, Dark Chocolate, Camembert Roast Duck, Prime Rib, Roast Beef, Roasted Vegetables, Tofu, Cheese Curls Meatloaf, Sausages, Rib Eye Steak, Pretzels, Grilled Fish Steak Salad, Eggplant Parmesan, Indian Food, Steaks of All Kind Any Pork Or Beef Steak, Barbecue, Smoked Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Alcohol Content 15.5% 14.5% 14.5% 14.2% 13% 14.5% 13.5% 15% 13.5% 14%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
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What Are The Best Cabernet Sauvignon Wines in California?

Currently, there are many Cabernet Sauvignon options in the market. Some are super fruity, while others have smoky and savory flavors. In reality, the taste of your Cabernet Sauvignon depends on where the grapes have grown, and the way the winemaker has vinified it. The top regions for Cabernet Sauvignon are Bordeaux, France, the North Coast of California, South Australia, and Chile. In general, expect to taste blackberries, cherries, figs, and plums, as well as tobacco, smoke, leather, pencil lead, eucalyptus, and mint.

Also, keep in mind that Cabernet Sauvignon shows green elements, too, especially if it’s coming from Bordeaux. The green flavor is bell pepper, and its appearance is due to an aromatic compound group called methoxypyrazine. Additionally, as you sample Cabernet Sauvignon, you might even discern notes of peppercorn, chocolate, and graphite. These are the best-selling Cabernet Sauvignon wines in California:


Best Cabernet Sauvignon Wines From California

Best Overall

  • Name — Orin Swift Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Orin Swift
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Smoke, Raspberry, Graphite, Cocoa, Charcoal, Charred Wood
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Smoke, Licorice, Fennel, Bell Pepper, Berry Compote, Blackberry, Boysenberry, Black Tea
  • Alcohol Content — 15.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roast Beef, Filet Mignon, Roast Duck, Gourmet Burger, Gorgonzola
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Complex Nose
  • Fine Tannins
  • Long Finish
Negatives
  • Maybe Too Strong For Some Palates

Tasting Notes

The wine has the classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics, namely cassis, raspberries, graphite, and charcoal, and is surrounded by a frame of oak. On the palate, the aromatics translate into extra cassis and smoke, licorice, fennel, bell pepper, and a berry compote, including blackberries and boysenberries. The tannins are fine and puckering, and finish the wine off with a touch of black tea. The acidity is moderate and refreshing, while the finish is long and welcoming.

And, if you’re wondering, the label features a picture of a mummified 16th-century Cardinal in Palermo, Italy. The photo has a sense of power and dignity, representing the values of Orin Swift Cellars and the winemaker who creates the Cabernet Sauvignons.

Crafting Creative and Bold Wines

Orin Swift Cellars is known for crafting creative wines with bold flavors and style. Located in Saint Helena, within the acclaimed Napa Valley, Orin Swift has a portfolio of wines that appeal to almost every wine enthusiast. The winery strives to find the best small plots on the West Coast to ensure that only fruit of the highest quality makes it into their blends.


Best Value

  • Name — Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Juggernaut
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Plum, Smoke, Vanilla Spice, Licorice, Cherry, Tomato Leaf
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Raspberry, Fig, Cassis, Cinnamon Spice, Raisin, Rhubarb, Peach, Violet
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Meaty Stews, Seared Lamb Chops, Strong Cheeses, Dark Chocolate
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Bold Character
  • Lovely Smooth Finish
  • Terrific Balance
  • Fruit Forward
Negatives
  • Slightly Sweet Finish

Tasting Notes

This is a dynamic oaky red wine with uncommon richness and smooth texture. Delicate and delicious, this Cabernet Sauvignon has a nose and palate of black fruits, cassis, licorice, and baking spices. As soon as you uncork the bottle, you meet the aromas of blackberries, plums, smoke, and vanilla spice emerging. These are closely followed by notes of licorice, cherries, and tomato leaf.

The palate is dynamic and bold, showing flavors of raspberries, figs, cassis, cinnamon spice, raisins, and rhubarb. On top of this, there are nutty sensations, as well as subtle touches of stone fruits and violets. The tannins are fine-grained and add to the overall complexity. The aftertaste is medium and has a leathery substance, while the acidity is moderate.

Spectacular Wines

The Juggernaut grapes grow in harsh conditions, causing them to give spectacular results. In fact, the Cabernet Sauvignon vines struggle to find water on the rocky, steep slopes they’re planted on, so the roots burrow deep in search of moisture. This way, the grapes attain a unique and mouthwatering flavor, resulting in robust wines of extreme expression.


Best Cheap Under $15

  • Name — Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Aged in Bourbon Barrels
  • Winery — Robert Mondavi
  • Country/Region — New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Raspberry, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Mocha, Cocoa, Cracker
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Boysenberry, Fig, Prune, Bramble, Cassis, Leather, Vanilla Custard, Cherry Pie
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Filet Mignon, Slow-braised Beef, Meatloaf, Roasted Vegetables, Smoked Tofu
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Lots Of Flavor
  • Great Value
  • Full Body
Negatives
  • Tad Too Syrupy

Tasting Notes

Complex with many layers of flavors, this Cabernet Sauvignon evokes aromas of blackberries, crackers, sugar, chocolate, smoke, and a mocha coffee. The mouth has tastes of black fruits, custard, caramel, and pie. Overall, this is one of the best Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. This bourbon barrel-aged Cabernet is one of the signature blends of Robert Mondavi. Expect to find aromas of blackberries, raspberries, brown sugar, caramel, mocha, cocoa, and crackers.

As you move into the palate, you meet an abundance of boysenberries, figs, prunes, brambles, cassis, leather, vanilla custard, and cherry pie, as well as chewy tannins. A touch of toasted oak concludes the medium finish, as the moderate acidity refreshes the taste buds.

A True Pioneer

Robert Mondavi Winery was established in 1966 by Robert Mondavi, a winemaking pioneer who wanted to create fine Napa Valley wines. Robert Mondavi Winery was the first winery built in Napa after the Prohibition. Since then, it embraces winemaking excellence by crafting wines expressive of Napa Valley’s unique terroir. Yet, Robert Mondavi Winery is known for its signature blend, Fumé Blanc, essentially an oaked Sauvignon Blanc.


Best Under $20

  • Name — DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — DAOU
  • Country/Region — United States, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Smoke, Leather, Cassis, Dried Herbs, Plum, Sandalwood, Crushed Stones, Menthol, Sage
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Boysenberry, Cherry, Plum, Prune, Dried Herbs, Blackberry, Blueberry, Leather
  • Alcohol Content — 14.2%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roasted Duck, Lamb Chops, Black Bean Burger, Portobello Mushrooms
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Lots Of Aromas
  • Supple Tannins
  • Yummy
Negatives
  • Flavors Are A Bit Dull

Tasting Notes

With a rich nose of black fruits, namely blackberries and figs, wood, and leather, and a bold mouth of boysenberries and cherries, DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon knows how to make an impression. The wine starts with compelling aromas of blackberries, smoke, leather, and cassis, enhanced with touches of dried herbs, plums, and sandalwood.

Some layers of crushed rock join nuances of menthol and sage, completing the complex nose. The body is bold, packed with flavors of boysenberries, cherries, plums, and prunes. Brambles are discernible, too, as well as dried herb tastes. The supple tannins offer a backbone for the flavors. Clean and lingering finish.

DAOU Vineyards

DAOU Vineyards is the creation of Daniel Daou, who has devoted his life to creating Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals the best in the world. The vines get ample sun time and are planted in 100% calcareous soil while, at the same time, receiving a light breeze from the Pacific. The winery attempts to create luscious wines and blends from popular varieties. But what makes the difference, is the synergy between the climate and terroir that gives way to an intensive vineyard culture that mimics Bordeaux more than California.


Best Under $25

  • NameDecoy Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Decoy
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Boysenberry, Plum, Blackberry, Cherry, Lavender, Star Anise
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Raspberry, Bramble, Fig, Prune, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cinnamon Spice, Vanilla, Cassis
  • Alcohol Content — 13%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Black Angus Burgers, Barbecue, Rack Of Lamb, Beef Jerky
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Bold And Full Mouth
  • Refreshing Acidity
  • Lingering Finish
Negatives
  • A Bit Rougher Tannins

Tasting Notes

Layers of black fruits, like plums and blackberries, grace the nose. The palate has all the elements I love about a California Cabernet Sauvignon; lush fruit flavors and rich tannins. Barrel spice is present, too, adding a certain level of complexity. The wine begins with a deep, inviting ruby-red color, followed by a nose of boysenberries, plums, blackberries, cherries, lavenders, and star anise.

The mouth is bold and full, with flavors of raspberries, brambles, figs, and prunes. Hints of chocolate, cocoa, and cinnamon spice join silky tannins. The acidity is refreshing, although low, and the finish has a lasting tone of vanilla and cassis.

Expressive Yet Affordable Wines

Decoy is an important label in the Duckhorn Portfolio of wines. It has a reputation for being affordable yet expressive, and high-quality. For this reason, it has built a loyal following that emphasizes that wines are capable of expressing their charm and complexity in their youth. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon, the Decoy lineup includes Zinfandel, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and others.


Best Under $30

  • Name — Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Beringer
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Raspberry, Cocoa, Roasted Coffee, Tobacco, Earth, Dried Herbs
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Bramble, Cherry Pie, Leather, Mint, Prune, Black Olives, Sage, Mocha
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Beef Steak, Pork Chops, Roast Chicken, Lamb Ribs, Dark Chocolate, Camembert
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Aromatic
  • Sleek Tannins
  • Elegant Finish
Negatives
  • A Little Heavy

Tasting Notes

This Cabernet Sauvignon has the aromas of fresh blackberries, chocolate, coffee, and smoky tobacco. Medium to full-bodied with sleek tannins. The stony finish is tight, and the acidity is refreshing. A fine Cabernet Sauvignon option. The wine begins with a nose of dried herbs, blackberries, raspberries, cocoa, roasted coffee, and tobacco before continuing onto a palate of earthy notes.

Also, wine enthusiasts can taste the flavors of prunes, brambles, cherry pie, leather, and mint. Touches of black olives, sage, and mocha grace the mouth too, while the fine acidity offers balance. The elegant structure drives to a lingering stony finish.

Classic California Wines

Bering Vineyards has been one of Napa’s benchmark producers since 1876. Now it’s in its third century of winemaking and continues to craft classic California wines from Napa’s finest appellations. Above all, the exquisite bottling crafted at the Beringer Vineyards pursues the excellence instilled by the winery’s founder, Jacob Beringer.


Best Under $40

  • Name — Buena Vista Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
  • Winery — Buena Vista
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Plum, Blueberry, Cedar, Bay Leaf, Vanilla, Eucalyptus
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Black Fruits, Cinnamon Spice, Vanilla, Dried Herbs, Oak, Raspberry, Cinnamon Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roast Duck, Prime Rib, Roast Beef, Roasted Vegetables, Tofu, Cheese Curls
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Enticing Bouquet
  • Smooth Tannins
  • Refreshing Acidity
Negatives
  • Lacks A Bit Of Body

Tasting Notes

This Cabernet from Buena Vista has an enticing bouquet of blackberry and plum notes that spring from the glass. The flavors are classic, from blueberries to blackcurrants, to cassis and tobacco. Smooth tannins and balanced acidity. Jammy finish. As the wine uncorks, scents of blackberries, plums, blueberries, and cedar spice emerge.

Close by, there are aromatic notes of bay leaf, vanilla, and eucalyptus. Full-bodied with a bold palate, smooth tannins, and bright, highly-refreshing acidity. The tastes are similar to the aromas, black fruits, and spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla dominate. Some minerality is present, too, and blends with dried herbs and oak. Juicy aftertaste that satisfies.

Buena Vista

One of Napa’s Oldest Wineries Buena Vista is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1857 by Agoston Haraszthy, a self-proclaimed Count. His passion for innovation and winemaking led Buena Vista to become one of California’s first premium wineries and shaped the American wine industry to what we know today. Besides this, Buena Vista was the first gravity-flow winery in California, and the Count


Best Under $50

  • Name — Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Austin Hope
  • Country/Region — United States, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Black Fruits, Prune, Fig, Smoke, Dried Spices, Cherry
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Blackberry, Vanilla Bean, Caramel, Butter, Mint, Bramble
  • Alcohol Content — 15%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Meatloaf, Sausages, Rib Eye Steak, Pretzels, Grilled Fish
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Tasty
  • Solid Palate
  • Rounded
Negatives
  • Sweeter Than Expected

Tasting Notes

With a deep ruby color, Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon shows aromas of blackcurrants and cherries and subtle notes of dried spices and smoke. The palate is lavishly layered with blackberries and cherries. A full-bodied and rich Cabernet balanced by vibrant acidity. The Cabernet Sauvignon has aromatic characteristics of black fruits, including blackcurrants, prunes, and figs.

These are accompanied by smoke notes, dried spices, and cherries. In the mouth, there’s dynamism, with flavors of blackberries, vanilla beans, caramel, butter, and mint. The tannins are polished, while the body is full and structured. Bright acidity and medium aftertaste.

Great Wines

Austin Hope Winery was founded by Austin Hope in 2000, crafting wines similar to the ones from the Rhône. These wines were produced from vines planted on the family estate, where the climate and soils remind one of Rhône Valley’s unique terroir. So, each Austin Hope bottling has incredible softness and power, showcasing Paso Robles’s unique side.


Best Under $100

  • Name — Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, tobacco, mocha, lead pencil, chocolate
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Prune, Bramble, Fig, Dried Herb, Lavender, Leather, Mushrooms, Gouda
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Steak Salad, Eggplant Parmesan, Indian Food, Steaks of All Kind
Overall Rating: 5.0

Positives
  • Extremely Smooth
  • Perfectly Balanced
  • Lovely Tannins
Negatives
  • Maybe Not Too Complex

This Cabernet Sauvignon delivers elegant aromas of raspberries, cherries, and blackberries, accompanied by hints of spices, cedar, and sandalwood. The mouth is pleasant and rounded with flavors of chocolate, plums, figs, toasted oak, and fruits. Rich and lingering aftertaste. The Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is one of Napa’s tried and true Cabernet Sauvignons, with good reason; it’s perfectly balanced. For example, the wine starts with the aromas of raspberries, cherries, and blackberries.

Notes of cedar and spices follow, giving a substance. The mid-palate is pleasant and fulfilling, packed with flavors of plums, cocoa, brambles, dried fruits, and charred wood. The tannins are supple, while the finish is lingering and oaky. Refreshing acidity.

Stag’s Leap Cellars

Stag’s Leap Cellars was founded in 1970. Since then, the winery has brought international recognition to California winemaking and the general Napa Valley region, thanks to their 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon that won the 1976 Paris Tasting. Since then, the winery keeps producing excellent Cabernets, known for their richness and elegant restraint.


Best With Unlimited Budget

  • Name — Opus One Overture N.V.
  • Winery — Opus One
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Raspberry, Redcurrant, Cherry, Bramble, Cocoa, Chocolate, Coffee
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Charred Wood, Barrel Aging, Smoke, Blackberry, Blueberry, Fig, Herbs
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Any Pork Or Beef Steak, Barbecue, Smoked Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Overall Rating: 5.0

Positives
  • Alluring Aromas
  • Barrel Aging
  • Round Tannins
Negatives
  • Flawless

Tasting Notes

If you have an unlimited budget, this Cabernet could be a wine option for you. Overture has a bright garnet color with expressive and enticing aromas of red fruits, such as cherries and redcurrants. The barrel aging gives it an elegant texture and structure. Savory flavors of pepper and smoked cedar dominate the palate. Perhaps, the best Cabernet Sauvignon in California.

Finding an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t rare, to be honest. It’s one of the world’s most planted red grape varieties, so it makes sense that winemakers have perfected Cabernet Sauvignon winemaking. This particular one is finely crafted for the current market. On the nose, it shows appealing aromas of raspberries, red berries, cherries, and redcurrants, as well as notes of tobacco and cassis. Some dried herbs are here and there, too, adding to the aromas.

The mouth is bold, as expected, with gentle tannins and a mouthwatering lift. The flavors are what you would expect; blackberries, prunes, brambles, and smoke. Touches of pepper and mocha give depth, while the finish has a silky texture. What makes it unique, though, it’s its balance. Perfect!

A Solid Partnership

Opus One has quite a history in winemaking. It’s a partnership between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild (one of the world’s best wine estates). The winery focuses on producing luxury wines from Napa Valley vineyards. And it does this so well.

Conclusion

We hope you have found this list of the top-rated Cabernet Sauvignon wines in California enlightening. A visit to this region will not disappoint, and you should not miss the opportunity of acquiring a selection of Cabernet Sauvignons from this list. Viva Cabernet Sauvignon!

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