There’s no denying that this is the best under $30 Napa Cab that’s come across my desk in months. And I almost didn’t even bother tasting it – yup, because of the name.
The hardest wine to source by far is affordable Cabernet. I taste hundreds every few months or so – and they can be absolutely dreadful. In several years of hunting, I’ve only come up with a handful. Chad – but that’s a story in and of itself. Postmark by Duckhorn or Carl Roy are all great options. Nichols provides enormous bang for the buck. But that’s just about it.
But today, I’m happy to say we can add another, a Cabernet that was made in the old-school California style that put the region on the map and named after a wine pioneer that helped do the same – Michael Broadbent.
Michael Broadbent set up Christie’s wine department in 1966, established Christie’s Wine Auctions, and with Robert Mondavi would hold the first ever Napa Valley Wine Auction is a champion of the region and of wine collecting in general.
So when his son, Bartholomew set out to make a wine in honor of his father, there was only one winemaker who got the call – kindred spirit, Trevor Sheehan. Trevor’s access to top vineyard sources is extremely impressive, especially for someone who didn’t grow up in the valley.
His very first wines were eight barrels of Chardonnay from the Beckstoffer Vineyard and a Howell Mountain Cabernet. Not bad. He’s since gone on to create a little powerhouse in Oakville that seems to defy logic in the QPR department.
Together the two crafted the 2018 Auctioneer to be a Napa Cabernet that sizzles at the price point, incredibly well built and food friendly, with impeccable balance and not overly alcoholic or ripe. It’s a wine that wins you over with finesse over strength but one that I’m certain will win you over nonetheless.
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