Many moons ago I bought a bottle of Little Penguin expecting it to be like Yellow Tail (ie, not good).
But when I opened the bottle, I was shocked. It wasn't the greatest wine I ever had, but it was by far the best $6 bottle of wine I ever had, it was smooth, fruity, and had a fair amount going on all things considered. I've periodically grabbed a bottle, but it's been a while simply because the wine rack has been fairly full so I didn't need to buy.
I was poking around the most recent Wine Spectator and they gave the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon 88 points. Since I had good memories, the bottle was cheap, and that's a strong rating, I figured I'd check out a bottle.
The first sip and the finish are heavy on blueberry. There's a little bit of spice as well and I get some cherry hints. This is a fruity wine to be sure, more like a Zinfandel than a Cabernet, but it's quite good. If you like California Zins, I don't see why you wouldn't enjoy this. Big, jammy, a burst of berry fruit, and a surprisingly long finish. It's easy enough to drink by itself or pair with almost anything. A bottle of this at something like Thanksgiving would be perfect--something that will go with anything and please everyone.
Can a cheap wine be good? Here's proof it can. Why would you spend $3 on Charles Shaw when with a bit of shopping around you can get this for $5?