Insights from Drizly’s Top 5 Napa Cabernets
Established Napa Valley brands drive Cabernet Sauvignon sales, including a mix of historic and more recent producers
Cabernet Sauvignon, the top-selling red wine category on Drizly, is produced all over the globe, but there’s one U.S. wine region that’s practically synonymous with the variety, known for producing some of the top Cabernets in the world: Napa Valley.
On Drizly, California Cabernet has held 89 percent share of overall Cabernet sales in 2021 to date. Napa Valley Cabernet accounts for a 22 percent share of the category, outperforming other well-known California regions like Paso Robles (seven percent share), Alexander Valley (three percent share), and Sonoma County (three percent share).
Napa Valley’s success with Cabernet is also in spite of the fact that its bottles often come with a higher price tag. The average unit price of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is $50.50, more than double the average unit price of Cabernet Sauvignon overall on Drizly.
“Consumers are typically willing to spend more on Napa Valley Cabs as a result of the perceived quality and prestige of many of these well-known brands,” explains Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights.
Yet that doesn’t mean consumers can’t find a bargain in Napa. While the best-selling Napa Valley Cabernet on Drizly is priced, on average, just over $90, the second-best selling Cabernet sells for just $25 on average, providing consumers with a wide range of price points to work within.
Consumers also frequently look to Napa Cabernet when purchasing gifts, and they’re likely to once again be among the most popular SKUs throughout the holiday season. In 2021 to date, 30 percent share of Napa Valley Cabernet sales has been gift orders — a whopping three times the average gift order share across all Drizly sales.
The five best-selling Cabernets have held steady year-over-year and unsurprisingly, classic producers have the edge. Three of the top five Napa Cabernets on Drizly are from iconic wineries that have been around since the 1970s and helped put the region on the map: Caymus, Stag’s Leap, and Duckhorn. But the other two brands — Educated Guess and Faust — prove that consumers are willing to break tradition in search of newer producers and emerging Cabernet styles.
It’s clear that Napa Valley Cabernet is both a reliable and profitable category for retailers, but making inventory decisions can be overwhelming as there are quite a few SKUs to choose from. Read on to discover the five Napa Cabernets that are total slam dunks.
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Founded in 1972, Caymus Vineyards is located right in the heart of Napa Valley — in the Rutherford AVA — and for decades, the family-owned winery has prospered as one of the premier producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in California. With an average price point of $93, this Napa Valley Cabernet is the most expensive bottle in the top five and can provide a nice boost to any retailer’s inventory.
Educated Guess Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Produced by Roots Run Deep Winery, which got its start in 2005, Educated Guess stands out on this Napa Cabernet list as not only the most modern bottle but also the most affordable. While the brand may not have the prestige and foundation of a winery like Caymus, the combination of the bottle’s fun, striking, and unique label (depicting a complicated-looking equation on a blackboard-like surface) with the approachable average price point of $25 has consumers reaching for this Cabernet over and over again.
Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon
At the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris, a pivotal blind tasting event that pitted French wines against bottles from California, the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon received the top score and the winery has remained one of the most notable California Cab producers ever since. Moreover, the Stags Leap District, where this wine is made, is one of the most revered subregions in Napa Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon production. With an average price point of $71, this wine is on the higher end of Napa Valley Cabernet offerings on Drizly.
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Duckhorn Vineyards, located in Napa Valley’s St. Helena AVA, was founded in 1976 and is actually best known for its Merlot produced from the legendary Three Palms Vineyard. But Duckhorn’s Cabernet Sauvignon is no slouch and has long been a consumer favorite throughout its 40-plus year run. Priced at $70 on average, this Cabernet is further proof that price is not a deal-breaker for Cabernet enthusiasts.
Faust Cabernet Sauvignon
Faust was founded more than 20 years ago but has managed to fly quietly under the radar as a smaller producer in the lesser-known Coombsville region of Napa Valley, set in the southern end of Napa within close proximity to the Bay and its cooling breezes. Coombsville wines are growing in popularity due to their elegance, bright acidity, and mineral qualities, a departure from the typical big and jammy Napa Cabs, so this wine (priced at $53 on average) is poised to remain a top seller in 2022.