Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and blends

This was a special wine tasting event because the line-up included a few wines with list prices over $100.

The idea was to compare some nice Cabernet Sauvignons and blends from Oakville/Rutherford AVA, Stags Leap AVA and Mount Veeder AVA.

I don’t know that we tasted enough to do just comparison, but it was a quite pleasant experience.

Please note that my scores for these wines are in relation to each other, not for use in comparing with other Cabernet blends that I’ve tasted. My score for the Magnificat is quite low considering that I generally really like this wine and purchase it quite often. I don’t think it tasted any worse than usual, but it didn’t hold up to the others on this list, some of which cost three times as much.

2001 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District
18 of 20 points
Nice wood aromas, a bit of leather in a nice taste curve.

1999 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
17 of 20 points
Aroma is more subtle than the one above, a touch harsh on the finish.

2002 Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat
16 of 20 points
I generally love this wine, but it didn’t show well with the rest of the lineup. The first bottle was faulty. But the second was fine. Dry, black cherry and toasted oak flavors.

2002 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
17.5 of 20 points
A lot of tannin, the taste curve falls off too quickly, but it tastes good.

2001 Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Napa Valley
19.5 of 20 points
Mocha, touch of coffee and dark cherry flavors. Very nice.

1998 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
20 of 20 points
Best wine of the line-up. It could stand to sit another 5-10 years.

2000 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve To Kalon Vineyard
20 of 20 points
Second best wine of the line-up. It is ready to drink right now.

2001 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley
19.7 of 20 points
Very good, but very young. It needs to sit for a least five years, fifteen would be better.

2001 Rosenblum Cellars Napa Valley Holbrook Mitchell Trio
After the regular tasting was over, someone opened a bottle of this one. It was quite nice. Extremely rich dark fruit such as black cherry and blackberry. A bit of chocolate and a touch of spice plus a very creamy-smooth finish made this one a great experience.

2 thoughts on “Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and blends

  1. Sounds like a great tasting, although I agree with you that it would be a bit difficult to really compare Stags Leap, Mount Veeder and Oakville-Rutherford with that list. I was particularly interested in your comments about Mount Veeder Winery. My family has been buying their wine for years and they certainly can be tannic in their youth. That said, I drank a well-stored 1984 Cab a few months ago that opened up very well, but had not lost its fruit. Quite nice.

  2. I would cherish any chance to taste a well-stored 1984 Cab!

    These wines were not open for any extended period of time before we tasted them. I think decanting would have made a big difference.

    One thing that I didn’t mention – I’m not sure that I would buy any of the $100+ wines that we tasted that night. As I tasted them, I was actually considering that I’ve had some wines in the $50-80 range which I thought were as good if not better, for example the 1999 Kelham Vineyards. And if I was to spend in the $110-140 range, I remember that several years ago that I tasted a 2000 Lokoya Diamond Mountain Cabernet which I considered to be head and shoulders above these. I found that interesting because the Lokoya didn’t score well in the big wine magazine’s opinion.

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