Jeb Dunnuck Says this $13.99 Cabernet "Makes a Mockery" of its Peers!


Charles Smith is one of the most unique characters in the wine world. With his wild hair, background in managing rock bands and creative approach to marketing wine, he has earned legions of fans, including us.

Today, we offer Smith's "Substance" Cabernet - which earned 93 points from James Suckling and 91 points from Jeb Dunnuck - for the ridiculously low price of $13.99. How good is this Cab value? Jeb sums it up perfectly...

"It makes a mockery of just about every other Cabernet Sauvignon in this price range."
- Jeb Dunnuck (4/2020)

As Jeb says in his review, and we concur, the 2018 "Substance" Cabernet Sauvignon is the best vintage ever of this wine. Silky, elegant and full of Bordeaux-like complexity, it is the epitome of balance. If it was thirty bucks, we'd tell you to buy it. At our $13.99 retail, a case just won't be enough!

Read on for the rest of the story on this big-time Cabernet, and be sure to scroll all the way down to catch the catch an "impeccably put together" 95-point Cabernet from Tranche Cellars, then quickly click the Big Yellow Button load up!

Vin Chicago is Now Open on Sundays!
(And later on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays)

10:00 - 5:00pm
10:00 - 7:00pm
  9:00 - 6:00pm
11:00 - 5:00pm
- Closed -

2018 Charles Smith "Substance" Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, Washington
We have worked with Charles Smith's "Substance" Cabernet for several years. When we saw Jeb's enthusiasm for the 2018, saying it "makes a mockery" of other Cabs in this price range, we couldn't wait to try it. Turns out, even with his hyperbole, he may have undersold this beauty!

This 100% Cabernet is about as perfect of a Bordeaux meets New World wine as you can get for under twenty bucks. We were immediately struck by the complexity of the aromas and flavors of cassis, black cherry, blackberry, black plum, cigar box and black olive along with the almost unmistakable wisp of a freshly sharpened Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil. The finish offers loads of rocky minerals and chocolate, as wave after silky wave is balanced by just the right amount of tannin and acidity. With credit to Jeff Joniak's famous Devin Hester call, "Substance Cabernet, you are ridiculous!"

We have little doubt that this is the best ever edition of this Cabernet. The critics love it too, with James Suckling's 93-point review followed by Jeb Dunnuck's fawning prose...

"This has the wonderful, dark-fruit and olive character of a ripe cabernet sauvignon, but the polished tannins fold over the wine. It's full-bodied, yet agile and focused at the finish. Real wine for the money. Drink now."
- 93 Points, James Suckling (6/1/2020)

"I loved the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Cs, which ranks with the finest releases to date for this cuvée. Classy cassis fruits, lead pencil, and tobacco notes all emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannin, integrated oak, and a great finish. It makes a mockery of just about every other Cabernet Sauvignon in this price range. Buy a case and enjoy over the coming 4-6 years, probably longer. Maturity: 2020 - 2027."
- 91 Points, Jeb Dunnuck (4/15/2020)

The winery sells this for $17, matching the median online retail. Our price makes the deal even better. With the holidays coming, this is one to jump on by the case!

Vin Chicago Price: 13.99

A 95-Point, Single-Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Tranche Cellars!

2017 Tranche Cellars "Blue Mountain Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon
Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Owned by Michael and Lauri Corliss, Tranche Cellars is one of our favorite under-the-radar producers in Washington. Today, we have the 2017 vintage of their "Blue Mountain Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon and it is gorgeous!

Blue Mountain Vineyard is one of the highest sites in Walla Walla, and the resulting wine is concentrated and incredibly elegant. The estate calls it "deeply structured and expressive." We call it a Cab lovers dream.

With a sweet-spot price and a production of only 545 cases, we are very happy to have been able to get an allocation. Awarding 95 points, Jeb Dunnuck writes...

"Brought up in 50% new oak, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon offers beautiful cassis fruits as well as classy notes of graphite, crushed rocks, and sappy herbs. Concentrated and medium to full-bodied on the palate, with ripe tannins, it's another impeccably put together red from this team that has remarkable purity, flawless balance, and a great finish."
- 95 Points, Jeb Dunnuck (4/15/2020)

Cabernet of this quality is becoming nearly impossible to find for under fifty bucks. Grab a few bottles to drink now and over the next decade-plus. 

Vin Chicago Price: 45.99
If you cannot see a yellow button, please either click here,
or contact us at 773-791-7936 for assistance.