While shopping at Whole Foods, I found the Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa priced at $9.99. I do not find much Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $10 or less that is worth buying but this looked promising. The sign said that this crowd pleasing Cabernet was consistently a Wine Enthusiast "Best Buy" and I noted the wine was a 2012 vintage (harvested spring 2012 in the southern hemisphere) with a high alcohol content(14.5%). Note: high alcohol does not necessarily equate to a better wine but low alcohol sometimes means the wine will be too sweet.
In researching my buy, I found that the Total Wines and More store across the street from Whole Foods lists this wine as a "Winery Direct" wine selling for $11.99, or $2 more than Whole Foods. This is another validation that Total Wines overprices their "Winery Direct" wines to allow for a coupon discount.
The Excelsior Cabernet is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. 40% of the wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak for 9 months. The wine is deep violet in color and has a jammy blackberry flavor. The only criticism is that the wine is a little overpowered by the high alcohol content. All in all, this is a very good Cabernet for this price range and I would buy it again.
SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points