Home Varietals Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Showdown- 14 under $20

We’ve been reviewing Cabernet Sauvignon for the past several weeks and now it’s time to do the roundup of all the reviews.

Usually, we name a specific wine as the top pick in these roundups.  But this time we’re going with a wine region: Chile.  Chilean wines took the top five spots in our showdown.  To be fair though, Chile also has one at the bottom of the list.  And we did review a couple California Cabs recently that were 90-pointers, but they were also over $20 and therefore didn’t make this list.

Ortega Fornier Urban Cabernet Sauvignon

Based on the numbers, you could say that the Ortega Fornier Urban or Santa Ema Reserve are the best choices from this lineup.  But I’d highly recommend any of the top five in this list.

In terms of real value, I picked up the Ortega Fornier Urban for a mere 11 bucks.  It’s filled with rich, dark fruit flavors and has an interesting spiciness.  It’s an outstanding wine, especially at this price.

The Santa Ema Reserve is also a really exciting wine and only a couple bucks more than the Urban.  With aromas like sage, coffee, cocoa, raspberry and blackberry, there’s a ton of complexity in this wine.  The fruit flavors are equally solid, making this an easy pick.

Another great deal in terms of quality-to-price ration is the Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s a bag in a box wine that comes in a 3 liter size and the price is equivalent to $5.75 per bottle.  You might be reluctant to buy that much wine because of a concern about it going bad before you can drink it all, but no worries it stays fresh for about a month after opening.

Here’s the full list of the Cabernet Sauvignon we reviewed.

Brand Year Rating Price
Ortega Fornier Urban 2008 89 $10.98
Santa Ema Reserve 2005 89 $12.99
Los Vascos Special Selection 2006 88 $10.99
Carmen Reserva 2006 88 $16.00
Peñalolen 2008 87 $18.00
Forest Glen 2008 86 $11.00
Dancing Bull 2006 86 $12.00
Black Box 2008 85 $23 / 3L
Montevina 2007 84 $10.99
Turning Leaf 2008 84 $8.99
Wild Hare 2008 82 $6.99
Main Street Winery 2006 81 $10.00
Napa Ridge 2007 81 $12.00
gran Verano 2008 80 $22 / 3L
2 replies to this post
  1. Thanks for the comment. Obviously, there are hundreds of different Cabernet Sauvignon brands out there and different groupings in a tasting will have different results. Unlike your comparison, all the wines in this lineup are under $20.00. Two other California Cabs that we tasted recently were superior, but also more expensive.

    But when it comes to QPR, Chile seems to be delivering results. At least with most of the Cabs we’ve tasted. Cheers!

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