Go check out the 2006 Pietra Santa Cabernet Sauvignon. Yeah, I know that the '07s that are coming onto the market are all the rage right now. However, I also know that they tend to cost a lot of dough. I don't know about you, but during the middle of the week, I'm willing to sacrifice just a touch of quality in lieu of not paying so much for a bottle of good wine. This is exactly why I like the Pietra Santa stuff. Made by Italian-born winemaker Alessio Carli, these wines are from estate grown, hand harvested, sustainably produced grapes. Their belief is that the wines can only be as good as the grapes that go into them. Trust me, these grapes are good. Oh, and then there's the oak treatment. Carli likes long oak treatments- this cab saw nearly 3 years in oak! By the time the wine sees that much wood, it really integrates the spiciness and vanilla notes well. Production on this wine is only about 1200 cases.
So, if you put all of these things together- green farming, extended oak, small production, hand harvesting, you get the things that make Napa Cabs $75 a bottle. However, since this wine is from the Cienega Valley (25 miles inland from Monterey), you get a cab that is going to cost you $18 or less retail.
Check it out. If you don't like the wine, I'll buy the bottle back from you.