He's a wild and crazy guy, but Charles Smith also really knows how to make great wine at all price points. His collaboration with Charles Bieler is one of the wine world's finest, and their 2013 Charles & Charles Washington Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah ($12) provides ample evidence. This hearty-as-all-get-out blend boasts seriously tasty red and black fruit flavors, great grip from spot-on tannins and a dusty, lusty finish. On the food front, this bargain is a wine for all seasons, doing swell work with grilled beef, lamb and sausages, as well as the roasts and braises of autumn and our all-too-imminent visit from Old Man Winter.
Surdyk's, Chicago Lake, Morelli's, Target (St. Louis Park), Hy-Vee (Oakdale and New Hope), Navarre, Andy's (Rochester) and others.