I am forever on the Cabernet QPR search. Last year I found the Sorrel Canyon Cabernet for $9. (Mendocino).
Many have bought cases upon cases of this after tasting from my recommendation.
I truly believe if one looks hard enough one can still find great wines at reasonable prices and $23 is surely reasonable, especially by Napa's standards. I initially had this last week and thought it deserved a deeper look. The verdict: I will get a case.
Deep garnet color. Viscous grip on the glass. The nose has blackberries, currant, dark cherry pie and boysenberry. The mouthfeel belies the fact that this is a $23 Cab. There is real structure and allure not normally found at this price point. Sweet tannins and a quiet but ever present acid level carries this forward. The finish seems a bit clipped. This reminds me of Ed Sbragias offerings of late save for the Beringer Reserve. There are some grape pips floating about? Strange, but the only distraction I can find. Could use a year in the bottle but drinks quite nicely now. (90 pts.)
I have bestowed the elusive Super QPR designation on this one!
From website (my bolding emphasis): The first Hardin Cabernet Sauvignon was “discovered” in 2003 by Doug Polaner on a trip to California. The wine was sourced from one of Napa Valley's long time “cult” producers. Doug found himself in Napa at the right time, and was able to taste and buy a small lot of this top, top quality wine. With the blow-out success of the first vintage, he went right to work on putting together a stellar follow-up, traveling throughout Napa tasting small lots of Cabernet until he was able to assemble the right combination of components. The blend of the 2005 is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, sourced from high-end vineyards such as ToKalon & Dr. Crane. The wine was aged in 75% new French oak for 18 months before being racked into used oak. Stylistically, the wine is classic deep, plush Napa Cab with lots of ripe Cassis fruit, sweet tannins and hints of superb quality oak. Try it with braised pheasant, red cabbage and wild rice, or why not a filet mignon with Gorgonzola sauce…?