Known for its hefty body and ability to stand up to the heartiest of meals, Cabernet Sauvignon is America’s favorite red wine varietal, holding a 13 percent share of the U.S. wine market (behind only Chardonnay).
The result of accidental breeding of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its peppery and dark fruit notes and for stocking steakhouse cellars around the world. But while Cab is most often paired with red meat, the robust red wine is also a delightful accompaniment to roasted chicken, pasta dishes, or otherwise sipped on its own.
With so many offerings flooding American wine shops, it can be hard to decipher which bottles are worth the spend. That’s why VinePair rounded up our 25 favorite Cabernet Sauvignons for 2022. With prices ranging from sub-$20 to $200-plus, this list has something for every budget.
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This year, American Cabernets dominated our rankings, with top performers from California’s Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and the Central Coast exciting us most. Other top bottles came from Washington State, and others from faraway lands, including Australia and Argentina.
Here are 25 of the best Cabernet Sauvignons to buy right now, with accompanying reviews by VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers.
Table of Contents
Tribute Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Owned by the Benziger family, this affordable Cabernet Sauvignon is a straight-up success. With accomplished balance, it has an approachable, earthy nose with soft, fruity accents. Grip on the palate provides a powerful mouthfeel, and makes this sub-$20 bottle taste like a $50 Cab. Average price: $14
Cataclysm Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
A nice example of the potential of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley, this wine is soft and floral on the nose, and fruity and tannic on the palate. Despite its youth, this affordable Cab is ready to enjoy now. Average price: $16.
Lievland Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
This wine is great evidence of the exciting things going on with Cabernet Sauvignon in South Africa. Lean and soft in profile, the palate is livened by good natural acidity. Its fruit character is mild but nicely balanced. Average price: $19
Robert Hall Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Highlighting the magic of winemaker Don Brady, this wine delivers exceptional value. The nose begins with juicy blackberries before a hint of pepper livens the senses. The palate is soft and supple with mild tannins that add some textural complexity. Stock up on this bottle for weeknight Cab cravings. Average price: $20
Ravel and Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
A down-to-earth Cabernet Sauvignon, this is an affordable, big, balanced wine with young tannins that add to the enjoyment. The palate delivers excellent balance and some good, deep fruit. Even at this price, the wine can age for another few years, and the fruit will emerge even more. Average price: $21
Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
From the Alexander Valley, this budget-friendly Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied and serves wonderful structure and balance. Deep blackberry fruit is contrasted by peppery notes, while the palate is big and firm with a nice grip. In other words, it’s a textbook Cab. Average price: $21
Seven Hills Winery Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
This Washington State Cab opens with a savory nose and a seasoning of dill and oak spice. The palate is rounded and plump, with a creamy mouthfeel, but leaves a lasting, powerful impression. Average price: $30
Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Another wonderful South African offering, this is an expressive red, with aromas that span lean fruit, minerals, pepper, and a hint of vanilla. Lively acidity frames a tight fruit core, creating an overall soft and balanced mouthfeel. Average price: $30
Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
From Margaret River in western Australia, this is an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon that highlights the variety’s leaner side without diminishing its power. The nose is surprisingly floral and mineral-driven, and punctuated by bright pops of berries. The palate has soft tannins, great natural acidity, and a noticeable brightness that is not common for this grape. Average price: $32
Charles Krug Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Charles Krug Winery boasts a lot of history, and this bottle is a great place to start exploring. Hints of blackberries meld with a suggestion of thyme on the nose, with vanilla and spice arriving from its time in oak. The palate is structured with firm tannins threaded through its concentrated fruit core. Average price: $39
Crossbarn Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Here’s a youthful California Cabernet that’s already drinking really well. Bright berry aromas continue onto its graceful, fruit-forward palate, where they’re met by silky tannins. This is a juicy, almost playful Cab that’s easy to get along with. Average price: $45
Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Louis M. Martini has been doing Cab since the beginning and has such a wide range of wines that it can be hard to know where to start. Consider this bottle and you will soon be compelled to dive deeper. Blackberry fruit opens the nose followed by a hint of pepper. The palate is jammy with firm tannins, creating a good textural contrast between austere and plush. This wine would be a nice addition to a holiday meal or steak night. Average price: $45
Grounded Wine Co. Steady State Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
This wine has classic California Cab notes on the nose but it’s the body of the wine that leaves more of an impression. Soft and tannic, with lively, balancing acidity, it feels full and voluminous on the palate. This is a crowd-pleaser. Average price: $50
1882 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
From the Coppola family, this Cab is approachable in price (relatively) and profile. Its nose recalls grilled steak seasoned with black pepper, and served with a rich blackberry sauce. Soft tannins weave seamlessly into its fruit core, culminating in a smooth, balanced finish. Average price: $58
Riboli Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
This Napa Cab is plump and with notes of mocha and vanilla on the nose and a sprinkling of pepper. The palate has a soft texture with subtle tannins and good natural acidity that livens its fruity finish. Average price: $60
KB by Knights Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
From a hillside vineyard in the warmest region of Sonoma, this is one of three wines produced by Knights Bridge. It’s a joy to sip — soft and warm with a wonderful depth of fruit character. The tannins have melted into the palate to the point of almost non-existence, making each sip feel round and juicy. Average price: $65
Ancient Peaks Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
This wine is a great reflection of the soil and climate of its Paso Robles vineyards. The profile is big and bold, with exuberant fruit character and intense tannins. Peppery notes run deep into the wine and slowly reveal themselves as it opens over time. Average price: $70
Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
This mountain-fruit Cabernet lives up to Kendall-Jackson’s rich winemaking heritage. It shows expressive fruit depth, the tannins are present but not intrusive, and active acidity gives its weighty body verve. This is a great holiday wine. Average price: $70
Sojourn Cellars Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
From the vaunted Oakville region of Napa Valley, this is another big Cabernet Sauvignon that delivers intense concentration of dark fruit that’s framed by a firm tannic structure. The contrast in textures brings complexity to the palate and will allow this wine to age gracefully. Don’t shy away from enjoying it now with a grilled steak pairing. Average price: $85
Addendum Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
A soft and soulful Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, this wine pops with berry fruit and hints of prickly peppery. The wine’s texture is rich and settles on the palate with noticeable weight. Overall, the lasting impression is of power and velvet smoothness. Average price: $90
Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
From the slopes of Mount Veeder, this Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerhouse. It showcases the lively acidity often found in mountain fruit, and its fruit character leans heavily in deep, dark blackberries. A hearty protein will help soften its firm structure — as will some extra time in bottle if you can wait. Average price: $100
Benovia Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2018
This Cabernet Sauvignon is a study in Oakville terroir. Both nose and palate are soft and savory, with brambly blackberry aromas providing extra layers to the nose. Firm tannins do just enough to frame the fruit on the palate, while great natural acidity keeps each sip alive. Average price: $125
La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Howell Mountain produces some of the most expressive Cabernet Sauvignon in the world, but occasionally bottles can take a little time to hit their stride, such as this wine. It opens with a drying nose that showcases blackberries and hints of oak, along with the savory aroma of peppered meat. This wine will benefit from a few years in bottle, but if decanted, it drinks well now. Average price: $150
Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Cabernet Sauvignon thrives on structure and that’s the name of the game with this stellar wine. Aromas of pepper and blackberries provide the prelude to the star of the show. The tannins weave seamlessly into its deep, dark fruit, while excellent natural acidity lifts the whole experience. It’s expensive but this wine more than lives up to its price tag. The great news is it’s already drinking so well, but is also guaranteed to age. Average price: $265
PATRIMONY Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Lebanese-born, French-raised, and now Paso Robles-based, this is a separate, flagship offering from the Daou brothers. Launched to rival the world’s most revered Cabernet Sauvignons, this wine is big and soft, with plush fruit and pronounced tannins. The drying effect of those is quite intense on the palate, and this wine could use another year or so in bottle before it starts to show its full potential. Average price: $275