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A great year for cabernet sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripen at the Opus One

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripen at the Opus One winery in Oakville, Calif. (July 26, 2013) Credit: AP

Greet the new year with wine from a great one.

Specifically, the year is 2010 and the wine is cabernet sauvignon from California. The weather caused a long growing season that led to concentrated, polished, wonderful wines at almost all price points.

Consider the fruity 2010 Dry Creek Vineyard Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon ($25), full of red raspberry and cherry. Cherry and vanilla signal immediately pleasing 2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($20). The stylish 2010 Simi Alexander Valley "Landslide" Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) delivers cassis, plum and coffee notes. And the plummy 2010 Emblem Oso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($60) suggests cherry and cassis, with traces of vanilla. For a fruity, aromatic red: the 2010 B Cellars Syn3rgy ($65).

The ante rises with the terrific 2010 Shafer One Point Five ($72), a vivid, slightly herbaceous, and refined cabernet.

Among the superior wines are two more from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, following the stunning Cask 23: the 2010 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon ($110) and the 2010 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon ($125). The FAY is rich with black fruit, plum and vanilla; the S.L.V., with blueberry, black cherry and ample red fruit.

The elegant 2010 Beaulieu Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon ($125) is all you'd expect: ripe fruit, balance, depth, complexity, and years to go. And the 2010 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon ($165) is defined by power, generous fruit and great structure. It could mature beautifully for decades.

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