Classic, elegant cab holds its own

WINE OF THE WEEK: 2009 Carpe Diem Cabernet Sauvignon; from California's Napa Valley; costs about $25; serve with prime rib, roasts, wild mushrooms and cheese.

Christian Moueix and his winemaking team knock it out of the park with this moderately priced Napa Valley cabernet. Made with just a touch (4 percent) of petit verdot, the 2009 Carpe Diem has impeccable balance; a silky texture; soft, rounded tannins; and, underneath it all, beautiful Napa Valley fruit. This is a cabernet built not to dominate but to go with food.

The quality may not be such a surprise from the owner of Chateau Petrus in Bordeaux and Dominus in Napa Valley, but the price, about $25, certainly is. This one could hold its own against some of the valley's most lauded $100 bottles. Classic and elegant.

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