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The Best Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Wine to Buy Right Now

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There’s no American wine more iconic than Napa Cab. It all started with the “Judgment of Paris” in 1976. Shortly after, Time magazine reported on the unprecedented blind tasting by French wine professionals, who favored California Cabernet Sauvignon (and Chardonnay) wines over pedigreed Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. In short order, the region’s reputation blew up on the international stage.

You May Also Like: How Cab Became King: The Rise of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley

While the U.S. wine industry has expanded far and wide since those days, with many other American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) also garnering global acclaim, it’s still hard to compete with Napa’s ever-popular, prestigious bottles. Fortunately, the region’s producers have not been resting on their reputational laurels. These world-class winemakers have been working just as hard as ever to create cellar-worthy selections.

“Napa Valley has enjoyed several stand out vintages in the last decade that make Cabernet and Cabernet-based blends from the region both exciting and satisfying,” says Elaine Chukan Brown, Wine Enthusiast’s resident Napa Valley reviewer. “The 2021 vintage for Napa Valley is already proving itself a classic. The balance of refined structure with genuine complexity and pleasure represents an ideal in Cabernet Sauvignon and its blending partners.”

That’s great news, but with decades of vintages on the market from more than 400 different wineries, it can feel like a near-impossible task to narrow down which Napa Cabernet wine to purchase. That’s where we come in.

From decades-old classics to those recent 2021s, these are the best Napa Cabernet Sauvignons and blends to buy right now.

You May Also Like: We Tasted Over 3,000 California Wines. Here Are 10 Standouts.

BOND 2005 The Matriarch Red (Napa Valley)

This year’s Matriarch is very similar to Harlan Estate in structure, and in some ways, a superior wine, or at least more delicious now. Shows the most beautiful black currant, cedar, blueberry pie and Asian spice flavors. What makes the structure so gorgeous are the firm tannins. Ultimately, it’s a refined, exquisite red wine. Hard to imagine a better one for drinking over the next decade, and just shows that price sometimes has no relationship to quality. 98 Points 

$ Varies Wine-Searcher

Larkmead 2015 Salon Red (Napa Valley)

A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Cabernet Franc, this is a tremendous wine, offering grippy red-currant, tobacco and graphite components around a full-bodied core of weight and breadth. Powerful yet elegant, it retains and celebrates much of the Cab Franc character in its unabashed embrace of dried herb, clove and violet. Enjoy 2025–2030. 98 Points  — Virginie Boone


O’Shaughnessy 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

This is such an outstanding wine at any price, but here we’re talking about outstanding value as well. Notes of iron and crushed rock lead to a lengthy balance of juicy red fruit and clove. With small amounts of Merlot, Malbec, Saint-Macaire and Cabernet Franc, it shows a deft hand at blending, with lasting notes of black pepper and nuanced oak. Editor’s Choice. 97 Points  — V.B.


Far Niente 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

With a slight nose of reduction, this wine offers grippy tannin and sizable oak. Blueberry, currant, cedar and sage give it an elegance and classic structure of understated power, finishing in notes of tobacco and clove. Enjoy from 2029–2039. Cellar Selection. 96 Points  — V.B.

$99 Total Wine

Cardinale 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

A beautiful wine from the vintage, with 5% Merlot, this opens in soy, cedar and leather. Grippy in its youth, it is integrated, cohesive and elegant in its firm grasp of power and intensity, with nuanced layers of black currant, blueberry and dried herb. This will only get better; enjoy best from 2027–2037. Cellar Selection. 97 Points  — V.B.

$379 Total Wine

Heitz 2012 Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

This tremendous 100% varietal wine hails from Oakville and was aged over three years in oak. Juicy red-cherry fruit and a compelling hint of caramel greet the palate, framed by elegant, fine tannins and a subtle minty tone in the background. Balanced and rewarding from start to finish, it has years ahead of it to develop further nuance. Enjoy 2022–2030. Cellar Selection. 96 Points  — V.B.


Chappellet 2021 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

An extra-dark color and heady aromas of crushed blueberries and blackberries leads to super-concentrated black fruits and milk chocolate on the palate, where silky tannins put a gentle grip around all that flavor. The wine is huge in pure fruit depth yet well-polished in texture. Best from 2027–2034. 95 Points  — J.G.


Darioush 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

Intensely chalky tannins surround cedar and dried herb notes in this robustly built, concentrated and grippy wine. Weighty earthiness leads the way to flavors of tobacco, sage and black pepper, overshadowing the dense, black fruit. 90 Points — Virginie Boone

$ Varies Gasbarro’s Wines

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All products featured here are independently selected by our team, which is comprised of experienced writers and wine tasters and overseen by editorial professionals at Wine Enthusiast headquarters. All ratings and reviews are performed blind in a controlled setting and reflect the parameters of our 100-point scale. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices were accurate at the time of publication.