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Best Producers

USA: U.S. Cabernet & Red Meritage

What About US Cabernet & the Red Meritage Brigade?
Cabernet sauvignon is the grape that forms the base for many of the world’s great red wines. Originally from Bordeaux, Cabernet has found a welcome home in the U.S.—particularly California and Washington. The glamour appellations of Napa and Sonoma along with lesser-known areas such as the Santa Cruz Mountains and Washington’s Columbia Valley now regularly produce wines that consistently outperform all but the very best Bordeaux from a good year. Rich, flavorful, and firmly structured, these reds are often built for age, but softer vinification techniques are making more and more of them pleasant to drink in youth. When blended with other traditional Bordeaux varietals such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, or Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon can take on a rather different (generally softer) personality. This is the common practice in Bordeaux, where it is quite uncommon to see a 100-percent Cabernet Sauvignon bottled. In the single varietal crazy U.S., these blends have been given a fanciful name (picked in a contest) so that the consumer might be better able to identify them—Meritage. Just a side note—no Francophilic pronunciations allowed, Meritage rhymes with heritage!

Premier Producers
S. Anderson (Richard Chambers Vineyard)
Arrowood (Reserve Speciale)
Beaulieu (Georges de la Tour)
Beringer (Private Reserve and Single Vineyard Bottlings available only at the winery)
Bernardus (Marinus)
Cakebread (Reserve, Benchland, and Three Sisters)
Cardinale
Caymus (Napa Valley and Special Selection)
Chimney Rock (Napa Valley, Reserve, and Elevage)
Clos du Val (Reserve)
Clos Pegase (Hommage)
BR Cohn (Olive Hill)
Colgin
Cosentino (M. Coz Meritage)
DeLille (Chaleur Estate)
DeLoach (OFS)
Diamond Creek (Volcanic Hill, Gravelly Meadow, Red Rock Terrace, and Lake)
Dominus
Dry Creek Vineyard (Reserve)
Dunn
Far Niente
Ferrari Carano (Tresor)
Fisher (Wedding and Lamb Vineyards)
Flora Springs (Trilogy, Cypress Ranch, and Rutherford Reserve)
Gallo Sonoma (Northern Sonoma Estate)
Girard (Napa Valley and Reserve)
Grace Family
Grgich Hills (Napa Valley and Yountville Selection)
Harlan Estate
Heitz (Martha’s Vineyard)
Hess Collection
W. Hogue (The Terraces)
Jarvis (Napa Valley, Reserve, and Lake William)
Kathryn Kennedy (Santa Cruz Mountains)
La Jota
Laurel Glen
L’Ecole No. 41 (Columbia Valley)
Le Ducq (Meritage)
Leonetti
Merryvale (Profile and Reserve)
Robert Mondavi (Reserve)
Chateau Montelena (The Montelena Estate)
Mount Veeder Winery (Napa Valley and Reserve)
Niebaum-Coppola (Rubicon)
Opus One
Pahlmeyer
Peju Province (Napa Valley and HB Estate)
Joseph Phelps (Napa Valley, Backus, and Insignia)
Pine Ridge (Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, and Andrus)
Plam
Pride Mountain
Quilceda Creek
Ridge (Santa Cruz Mountains and Monte Bello)
St. Clement (Howell Mountain and Orropas)
St. Francis (Reserve)
Chateau St. Jean (Reserve)
Chateau Ste. Michelle (Horse Heaven, Cold Creek, and Artist Series Meritage)
Shafer (Hillside Select and Stags Leap District)
Signorello (Napa Valley and Founder’s Reserve)
Silverado (Limited Reserve)
Silver Oak (Napa Valley and Alexander Valley)
Spottswoode
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (Cask 23, Fay, and SLV)
Stonestreet (Legacy)
Waterbrook
Whitehall Lane (Reserve)
Andrew Will (Washington, Sorella, and Reserve)
Woodward Canyon (Artist Series and Old Vines)


Great Producers
Adelaida (San Luis Obispo)
Altamura
S. Anderson (Stags Leap District)
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards
Apex
Arrowood (Sonoma County)
Barnard Griffin
Barnett
Benziger (Tribute, Reserve, and Sonoma County)
Beringer (Knights Valley and Alluvium)
Byington (Smith Reichel and Bates Ranch)
Cain (Cain Five)
Cakebread (Napa Valley)
Canoe Ridge Vineyard
Chapellet
Cinnabar
Clos du Val
Clos LaChance
Clos Pegase (Napa Valley)
Columbia Winery (Red Willow and Otis)
Conn Creek (Anthology)
Cooper-Garrod (Proprietor’s Reserve and Santa Cruz Mountains)
Corison
Cosentino (Reserve and The Poet Meritage)
Robert Craig (Affinity)
Cuvaison (Napa Valley)
Dalla Valle
Dehlinger
DeLille (D2)
deLorimier (Mosaic)
Dry Creek Vineyard (Sonoma County and Meritage)
Gary Farrell
Ferrari Carano (Sonoma County)
Fisher (Coach Insignia)
Thomas Fogarty
Forman
Franciscan (Oakville Estate and Magnificat)
Freemark Abbey (Bosché and Sycamore)
Gallo Sonoma (Stefani, Barelli Creek, and Frei Ranch)
Geyser Peak (Reserve, Reserve Alexandre)
Groth
Harrison
Hartwell
Hedges (Red Mountain Reserve and Three Vineyards)
Heitz (Trailside Vineyard)
Hendry
Herzog (Special Reserve)
Robert Keenan
Kendall-Jackson (Grand Reserve and Buckeye Vineyard)
Kenwood (Artist Series and Jack London)
Kathryn Kennedy (Lateral)
Kiona (Reserve)
Kunde
Lambert Bridge
Langtry
L’Ecole No. 41 (Seven Hills, Apogee, and Windrow)
Lewis
Liparita
Livingston
Lokoya (Diamond Mountain, Mount Veeder, and Rutherford)
Louis M. Martini (Monte Rosso and Reserve)
Matthews
Merryvale (Napa Valley)
Peter Michael (Les Pavots)
Robert Mondavi (Napa Valley and SLD)
Mount Eden (Santa Cruz Mountains and Old Vine Reserve)
Oakville Ranch (Napa Valley and Roberts Blend)
Paradigm
Pine Ridge (Rutherford)
Portteus
Chateau Potelle (VGS and Napa Valley)
Quintessa
Ravenswood (Pickberry and Rancho Salina)
Martin Ray (Diamond Mountain, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Saratoga Cuvee)
Richardson (Synergy and Horne Vineyard)
St. Clement (Napa Valley)
St. Francis (Sonoma County)
Chateau St. Jean (Cinq Cepages)
Chateau Ste. Michelle (ColumbiaValley)
Seavey
Sierra Vista (Five Star Reserve)
Silverado (Napa Valley)
Simi (Reserve)
Soquel (Partner’s Reserve)
Spring Mountain Vineayrd
Staglin
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (Napa Valley)
Stonestreet (Alexander Valley)
Swanson
Titus
Truchard
Tulocay
Viader
Villa Mt. Eden (Signature Series)
Von Strasser
Whitehall Lane (Napa Valley)
ZD


Dependable Producers
Adelaida (Calitage)
Atlas Peak
Belvedere
WB Bridgman
Burgess
Cafaro
Carmenet
Cedar Mountain
Cloninger
Columbia Crest
Columbia Winery (Sagemoor and Reserve)
Cornerstone
Douglass Hill
Dunham
Estancia
Fetzer
Gordon Brothers
Guenoc
Hanna
Havens
Helena View
Hogue
Jordan
Judd’s Hill
Kendall-Jackson (Vintners Reserve)
Kestrel
Markham
Neyers
Pindar
Powers
Quail Ridge
Rancho Sisquoc
Raymond
Rocking Horse
Rosenblum
St. Supery
V. Sattui
Sequoia Grove
Seven Hills
Seth Ryan
Simi (Napa Valley)
Smith & Hook
Sonoma Creek
Chateau Souverain
Stags’ Leap Winery
Staton Hills
Tefft
Turnbull
Villa Mt. Eden (Grand Reserve)
Windsor
Woodside
Yakima River

Best Producers Home


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