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America’s House Brand

As I walked past end-cap display after end-cap display at a couple of different wine retailers, it dawned on me that Castle Rock and Concannon are both vying to be America’s house brand.

It makes some sense, if this is indeed either of their intent.  Both have polished, sophisticated winery packaging and positioning in the market.  Both are in the $9 to $12 price range and both have a well-represented line-up of red wine varietals. The Concannon has an incredibly heavy bottle that speaks to that intangible quality of “heft = quality” that can sometimes sucker you and Castle Rock has a classically stylized label that reeks of class in an American bourgeoisie kind of way.

And, more importantly, there is a place in the market for them, as wine consumers trade-up to more expensive wine—the general population seems more inclined to pick up the $11.99 bottle than the ‘same old, same old’ at $7.99.

In this regard, both of these wines deliver based on intended market and quality to price.  Certainly, you won’t look deep into the glass for the answers to all things mysterious, but you won’t come away disappointed for having pulled the cork.

My reviews of the respective Cabernets for Castle Rock and Concannon are below.

‘05 Castle Rock Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

‘04 Concannon Selected Vineyards, Central Coast, Cabernet Sauvignon


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