California cabernet – Smith & Hook 2018 cabernet sauvignon

Kendall Jackson, J. Lohr, Estancia, Hess, Hahn and Chalone. 


If you shop for wine at a supermarket, you know those wineries. 

You might not know that they’re neighbors of sorts…all located in one of the primary

wine-grape growing regions in California in the Salinas Valley near Soledad.

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It’s Wine Thursday, our weekly good-wine-at-a-good-price-

that-you-can-find recommendation, just in time for your weekend. 


This week, we’re featuring a big bold red that is produced

right in the heart of the Salinas Valley on California’s Central Coast.


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A few decades ago, cattle ranches dotted the highlands of Monterrey County. 

Two of those ranches, named Smith and Hook, were converted to vineyards. 

The cattle are gone but the names live on in the form of pinot noir, chardonnay

and this week’s featured wine, cabernet sauvignon.   


True confessions: Smith & Hook cabernet fooled me. 

I smelled it, tasted it and immediately thought “red blend”. 

I got hints of petite sirah and/or malbec, 

two grapes often blended with cabernet to stretch it, so to speak.


Wrong, according to the producers who say it’s 100 percent cabernet. 


In any event, it’s a full bodied, flavorful wine…smooth around the edges

with enough spice to keep it interesting. 

For the price, it’s one of the better cabernet deals you will find at the major groceries.


Regarding price, the best we found was not at retail but online. 

Empire Wine sells Smith & Hook cabernet for just $14.95.  

Fred Meyer and QFC list it at $19.99. 

Total Wine’s price is  $20.99.   

Market of Choice has it at $21.99

or you can order it from for $22.99.




Speaking of price