Got to taste two KILLER Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa recently, both in about the $50-70 range. They were fantastic. Very complex, elegant, delicious, and powerful. Both could age another 10 years (the Ristow, even more):
2001 White Cottage Howell Mountain Napa Valley
2001 Ristow Quinta de Pedras Vineyard
Also had the assistant winemaker from Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, CA, visit the shop and pour wines. They were uniformly excellent. Why? Because Tablas Creek is a joint venture with Beaucastel in France! They make Rhone blends. The white, Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc, was one of the finest white wines from Cali I have ever taste. Their Rosé is excellent, if a bit pricey (about 20-25 bucks). And their basic red, the Cotes de Tablas (2002) was the finest Rhone blend in California. A real joy to drink. They are organic grapes, natural yeast, open tank fermentation. Having acidity in wines and using neutral wood is key to their success. Please drink these wines when you are not pouring all your wine dollars into the EU like me.