Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon California 2009, $13-$16: Too bad this dandy has to say “California” on the front instead of where it’s really sourced — Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley and Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County, both hotbeds for great Cabs. This baby is cherries dipped in dark chocolate, and a blast of ripe, juicy dark plums and blackberries, plus cedar and tobacco. It has firm structure; tannins are like velvet. It’s aged in 100 percent French wood for 36 months, with 30 percent of the barrels new. It’s awesome for the price. Pour it with grilled steak, lamb chops or a bold pasta dish. It’s widely available, including at Plum Market, Hiller’s, Kroger, Nino Salvaggio and Ye Olde Wine Shoppe. Denny Walsh, owner of Ye Olde Wine Shop in Rochester Hills, calls it “dee-licious.”
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