Superstar chef Wolfgang Puck's name and logo are everywhere these days, including on wine retailer's shelves. Five varietals, previously available only in Puck's restaurants, are made by the Indelicato family's DFV wines of Manteca, Calif., and are available in selected locations around the country. We found the 2011 Wolfgang Puck Master Lot Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at a local big-box store for about $12. All wines in this line are intended to be accessible, with suggested retail prices of $15 or less.
This is a lovely dark red wine, sexy and smooth from first sip to last. Dark fruits, especially black cherry and black currant, appear at first sniff and explode on the tongue with their big, mouth-filling flavors plus blackberry, a figgy bass note and a whiff of wood smoke. The finish is long and silky with a little mocha chiming in at the finale just for fun.
Overall, this is a well-structured and beautifully balanced fruit-forward young wine. Its price point makes it a bargain.
Steak is the classic pairing with robust cabs like this one, but it also will go well with lamb, ripe soft cheeses and chocolate fudge cake.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.