This deep in winter, it's definitely time for some California sunshine.
For devotees of cabernet sauvignon, finding wines from the 2007 vintage is pretty much all you need to know. It was an outstanding year at all price points for the greatest of red-wine grapes.
Enjoyable now and sure to mature for a few years is the vivid 2007 Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon ($42), a gutsy red with a harvest of red and black fruit, and a hint of chocolate. Although not exactly bargain-priced, this is a terrific value.
Two Rodney Strong wines show off the vintage. The 2007 Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2007 Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon are single-vineyard winners, each $75. These wines are packed with red and black fruit, ready for beef and lamb.
And Sbragia Family Vineyards succeeds with a quartet of standout cabernets. The 2007 Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon ($50) is a fruit-forward, traditional beauty, with blackberry and black cherry. Fuller and more concentrated: the 2007 Wall Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007 Rancho Del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon, ripe, intense and balanced; and the lush, smooth, distinctive 2007 Cimarossa Cabernet Sauvignon; $75 each.