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Sequoia Grove, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2005, $34

America’s most famous wine region, California’s Napa Valley, excels most often with

one grape variety, cabernet sauvignon. At its best, Napa cabernet is the one American wine that consistently can stand side by side with the world’s very best wines. Deep, dark and deliciously satisfying, it’s our country’s flagship.

Unfortunately, success comes at a price. Top Napa cabs these days routinely cost over $50 a bottle, with many topping $100. The $34 on the price tag for Sequoia Grove’s 2005 cabernet, while certainly no bargain, thus represents value, particularly considering that the wine is every bit as good as many costing two or three times as much.

A well-established Napa winery, Sequoia Grove seems to be enjoying a renaissance, of sorts, these days, as the red wines go from strength to strength with each succeeding vintage. This 2005 version offers multiple layers of fruit and spice, with deep flavors and excellent balance. Delicious now, it should age well for a good decade, so feel free to save it for a special occasion.

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