2010 Lake Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Alexander Valley, $27

I see it every summer. American tourists coming up to cruise or Stampede looking at our restaurants’ wine lists and recoiling i

n horror at the prices shown for California wines. How does a Seghesio Zinfandel go from $11.99 (with Safeway Club Card) in La Quinta to $75 on a wine list up here? “Free health care ain’t free,” one pal quipped recently and the truth is the taxes on wine are ludicrous, and no area fares worse under this sad regime than California. We get absolutely jacked when it comes to California wine up here, which kills me because I love California wine.

The result is I hardly ever get to drink good California Cabernet anymore. I don’t mean that gunk that is labeled Central Coast or some other appellation so enormous that it’s meaningless without further refinement. The best option in BC is Beringer’s excellent (and priced accordingly at $45) Knights Valley Sonoma Cab—until now.

Tony Stewart of Quail’s Gate and Ted Zepponi (formerly of ZD Winery and Mission Hill, now Valley of the Moon) brought out a Napa Cab—Plume—a few years back, and at $30 it was the best-priced Napa juice around. Now they’re back with a new offering—a Sonoma Can from the famed Alexander Valley—and it’s $27. The only other Alexander Valley Cab available at the BC Liquor stores is Silver Oak, and its $80.

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