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After the holiday season and, no doubt, spending more money than planned with all the gifts and parties and wine that become part of all the festivities, it’s nice (and sometimes necessary) to cut back a little bit.  Thus, here are some lovely examples of New World Bordeaux that are sure to please your palate, without hurting your pocketbook too much.

Sterling 2013 Meritage

Grape(s): Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot

Region: Sonoma County, Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of cherries, plums, and blackberries combine with hints of dark chocolate, oak, and anise on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of ripe plum, bramble fruit, and dark cherry, alongside elements of toasty vanilla and minerals. Fruit driven and friendly, sip on its own or pair with pasta in a light Alfredo sauce.

Rating: 89

Loius Martini 2014 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and the rest Petite Sirah & Cabernet Franc

Region: Sonoma County, Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of currants, cherries, vanilla, and mint rise up from a glass. The palate reveals flavors of black cherry, cassis, and blackberry that open up into notes of smoke, creamy oak, and herbs. Nicely layered for a Cab in its price range, there’s something here for both connoisseurs and casual drinkers.

Rating: 90

J. Lohr 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 77% Cabernet, 7% Merlot, 7% Petite Sirah, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Syrah, & 2% other

Region: Paso Robes Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of black cherries and blackberries mingle with cedar and chocolate covered walnuts on the nose. With a sip, flavors of blackberry, currant, and cherry envelop the palate, accented by toasty oak, cocoa, and minerals. Ripe and lush, fans of fruit driven Cabs will find something to like here.

Rating: 88

Chateau St. Jean 2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon 89%, Merlot 5%, Cabernet Franc 4, Petit Verdot 2%

Region: Sonoma County, Ca

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Cherry, plum, and cassis meld with olive and clove on the nose. The palate showcases flavors of black cherries, plums, and boysenberries that flow into traces of mocha, sweet spice, and earth. Nicely structured with cocoa tannins, open a bottle with beef stew.

Rating: 89

Kim Crawford 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon

Region: Marlborough, NZ

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Citrus, tropical, and grassy overtones comprise the nose. A lively palate delivers grapefruit and passion fruit flavors, along with grassy and mineral accents. Classic New Zealand character with fresh acidity, it will hit the spot for fans.

Rating: 90

Beringer 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): N/A

Region: Sonoma County, Ca

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Blackberries and cassis play nicely with suggestions of toast and chocolate on the nose. Cocoa tannins carry flavors of black cherry, cassis, and blackberry alongside traces of mocha, oak, and mint. A mouth-filling Cab with lush dark fruit, it’s sure to please with a juicy steak.

Rating: 90