Laurel Glen 1996 Quintana North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon ($12.99)
As we move into autumn of the following year, this guess is shaping up as a good one. The wine, still available at retail locally, is showing real character: Dark garnet in color, with black fruit and rich dark chocolate aromas. Its fresh fruit flavor is consistent with the nose, cherry-berry and chocolate flavors filling the mouth and lingering in a long finish. Still tart and fairly tannic, it's more accessible now, but time is still on its side. It's a hard-to-beat value in a midrange California Cabernet.
FOOD MATCH: A natural partner with pan-grilled strip steaks.
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