Aged Cali Cab

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JeromeHan
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#1 Post by JeromeHan » May 14th, 2016, 11:25 am

I've always wanted to try and see a really well aged California Cab tastes like. I'm not looking to get an aged cult wine or anything of that level. If I wanted to get a good sense of the flavors and how they develop, what winemaker and vintage should I be looking at? I was thinking something along the lines of a late 1990s Mondavi Reserve? Any suggestions would be great.

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#2 Post by Rick Smith » May 14th, 2016, 11:43 am

Seek a 77 Mondavi Reserve. Should be a reasonable value for the quality.

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#3 Post by Bud Carey » May 14th, 2016, 11:44 am

I'd go for a Mondavi reserve or a Dalla Valle. We had a 96 Dalla Valle 10 days ago, and it was gorgeous.
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#4 Post by Doug Schulman » May 14th, 2016, 11:51 am

Yes, Mondavi Reserve for value and quality is a fantastic choice, but you need to go older than the late '90s.
Last edited by Doug Schulman on May 14th, 2016, 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#5 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 14th, 2016, 11:52 am

I like the 91-94 run.

Dalla Valle
Togni
Dunn

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#6 Post by George Chadwick » May 14th, 2016, 12:11 pm

I'd get the 1985 Cask 23 on Winebid this week. Best price I've seen. Beautiful wine. Most of the above wines I would not consider older.

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#7 Post by J a y H a c k » May 14th, 2016, 12:24 pm

Go for 91 or 94. Then 90. If you get really lucky, a 74, but you need some luck plus great storage.
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#8 Post by mike pobega » May 14th, 2016, 12:57 pm

Find a perfectly stored 74 Mondavi CS.

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#9 Post by Andrew Demaree » May 14th, 2016, 1:05 pm

Early 90s Montelena and La Jota cabs would be worth checking out, too.

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#10 Post by David Glasser » May 14th, 2016, 1:12 pm

Agree with Robert and Jay re vintage: 91 or 94. Likely winners if (big if) well stored:

Mondavi Reserve
Montelena Estate
Ridge Monte Bello
Togni
Laurel Glen
La Jota Anniversary
Dominus
Beringer Chabot
Freemark Abbey Bosche

I'd add Dunn but the Howell Mtn is still probably too young.

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#11 Post by JeromeHan » May 14th, 2016, 1:33 pm

Seems like a common thread is that it really depends on how well it was stored. Should I be avoiding websites like winebid then? And if so, what would be a good way to purchase these older wines?

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#12 Post by Anton D » May 14th, 2016, 2:01 pm

Cruise K&L's website!

They are a high class seller and the prices are generally good.

1978 BV http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=900049

Oh! Maybe this 6L from St Clement for a shindig! http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=1222538

84 Conn Creek for 40 bucks...http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=1251914

1985 BR Cohn rated 94 points by WS, 80 bucks http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=900676

Anyway, cruise around their site and you'll find some great things to try that mat tickle your palate!
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#13 Post by JeromeHan » May 14th, 2016, 2:10 pm

Anton D wrote:Cruise K&L's website!

They are a high class seller and the prices are generally good.

1978 BV http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=900049

Oh! Maybe this 6L from St Clement for a shindig! http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=1222538

84 Conn Creek for 40 bucks...http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=1251914

1985 BR Cohn rated 94 points by WS, 80 bucks http://m.klwines.com/p/i?i=900676

Anyway, cruise around their site and you'll find some great things to try that mat tickle your palate!
Too bad they can't ship to NJ.... makes me so sad.

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#14 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » May 14th, 2016, 2:34 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I like the 91-94 run.

Dalla Valle
Togni
Dunn
That run can get pricey (Dominus, ouch!) but Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards can be had reasonably and provides a real look at that era, at least in terms of valley floor fruit.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

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#15 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 14th, 2016, 2:57 pm

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I like the 91-94 run.

Dalla Valle
Togni
Dunn
That run can get pricey (Dominus, ouch!) but Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards can be had reasonably and provides a real look at that era, at least in terms of valley floor fruit.
The three I noted can be found in the $125-$150 range. Considering the pricing of new CA Cabs with short histories, these are deals. In fact, I'm gonna do my own backfilling!

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#16 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » May 14th, 2016, 3:00 pm

You can find ACVV under $75, and sometimes $50.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

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#17 Post by Leon Markham » May 14th, 2016, 3:17 pm

80s Ridge Cabs are awesome (provided of course they haven't been cooked). Like cars of that vintage, provenance is more important than model - one of the best wines I tasted in 2014 was the York Creek (I think) Cabernet from 81 - was something like 10.5% abv but utterly delicious.

I've got some screaming deals on winebid but also some cooked wine...caveat emptor.
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#18 Post by Matthew Hemming » May 14th, 2016, 3:28 pm

Just had 1974 Martha's Vineyard and 1974 Mount Eden Cab tonight. The MV was staggeringly good. Better than the mag of 70 Latour.
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#19 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 14th, 2016, 4:30 pm

If you are just going back to the 1990s, I think your best bet is Philip Togni, Dunn or Ridge. Mayacamas too, but the wines will be hard as nails.

If budget stretches to include wines from the 1970s and 1980s, your choices are much greater. Old Mondavi Reserve; a good one is the 1987. There are a few producers from the 1970s where the wines went abruptly downhill, so everybody seems to have forgotten them (i.e they are relatively cheap) but if you can find pre 1978 Burgess, Sterling or Jordan (yes Jordan) grab 'em.
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#20 Post by Arv R » May 14th, 2016, 5:05 pm

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I like the 91-94 run.

Dalla Valle
Togni
Dunn
That run can get pricey (Dominus, ouch!) but Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards can be had reasonably and provides a real look at that era, at least in terms of valley floor fruit.
+1 on the Anderson's

They age well, and have classic proportions.

I'll echo everyone else on the Togni as well, but that will cost more.
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#21 Post by rick m » May 14th, 2016, 5:45 pm

had luck with these producers...

montelena
ridge
mondavi rsrv
dominus
dunn
ITB
rick matsui

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#22 Post by Howard Cooper » May 14th, 2016, 6:07 pm

Ridge Montebello from 1984, 1985 or 1991
Diamond Creek 1978
Sterling 1974
Montelena 1978, 1987 or 1991
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#23 Post by A. So » May 14th, 2016, 6:18 pm

Pre-90s California cabernet are to me the ultimate example of cabernet. The wines were made emulating the classical French style, coupled with the hot and sunny weather means that the fruit has held up much better than many Bordeaux bottles of that era. The wines show many of the same vegetal, leather, dust, and pencil shaving characteristics of Bordeaux, but much more vibrant fruit.

By the time there was enough warm weather that all the vintages in Bordeaux get sufficiently ripe (2000s onward), many of the chateaux had fallen prey to the seductive 100-point generic international style preferred by certain critics.

This is subject to many, many exceptions, and I am in no way saying that all of California is better than a particular bottle of Bordeaux.

All this said, hunt down any one bottle of those famous old-school producers mentioned here already: Dunn, Ridge Monte Bello, Diamond Creek, Montelena, Mayacamas, Dominus, etc. You won't be disappointed. Some of these can be had for under $100 if you hunt carefully.
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#24 Post by Dennis Kanagie » May 14th, 2016, 7:15 pm

JeromeHan wrote:
Anton D wrote:Cruise K&L's website!
Too bad they can't ship to NJ.... makes me so sad.
Check your private messages.

Also, if you want to get a couple bottles that are easier to find because they're slightly more modern, yet still show some classic traits, then 1995 and 2001 are two excellent years.
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#25 Post by Anton D » May 14th, 2016, 7:22 pm

Diamond Creek!

Yes!
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#26 Post by Victor Hong » May 14th, 2016, 8:41 pm

Winebid has lots of good stuff, for cheap.
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#27 Post by Ed Steinway » May 15th, 2016, 7:28 am

There are a lot of good suggestions. I would add Forman to the list. His Cabs from the early 90's are still drinking well.

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#28 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 15th, 2016, 7:30 am

The best Mondavi Reserve from the1990s was the 1995, but it was an AFWE wine, not a Parkerized wine. The Parkerized vintages from the 1990s just weren't drinking very well when I had them [honestly, the vivaciousness of the 1995's acidity made the Parkerized vintages seem pretty horrible by comparison].

The best Parkerized Mondavi Reserve that I've ever had was the 1978, from magnum; it tasted like a chocolate double chocolate milkshake [in a good way].

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/mondavi+reserve

For Togni, don't forget that he was at Chappellet for a long time before setting out on his own - maybe as long as the late 1960s through the early 1980s, and he would have had a hand in making almost all of the Chappellet wines of the 1970s [which are still almost affordable].

http://www.sfgate.com/wine/thirst/artic ... 396208.php

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/chappellet

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#29 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 15th, 2016, 7:34 am

cellaraiders has the 94 Mondavi Reserve for $89. I hear. From sources.
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#30 Post by Dennis Kanagie » May 15th, 2016, 8:16 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:cellaraiders has the 94 Mondavi Reserve for $89. I hear. From sources.
That's the 1991:

http://www.cellaraiders.com/advanced_se ... 51&x=0&y=0
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#31 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 15th, 2016, 8:18 am

1995.

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/1995+mondavi+reserve/

It's the best vintage of the 1990s.

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#32 Post by Victor Hong » May 15th, 2016, 8:39 am

I opened a 1994 Mondavi Reserve recently at Maialino, and it was great.
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#33 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 15th, 2016, 8:41 am

Dennis Kanagie wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:cellaraiders has the 94 Mondavi Reserve for $89. I hear. From sources.
That's the 1991:

http://www.cellaraiders.com/advanced_se ... 51&x=0&y=0
Sorry; thanks for the correction. Posting from memory.
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#34 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 15th, 2016, 8:43 am

Nathan Smyth wrote:1995.

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/1995+mondavi+reserve/

It's the best vintage of the 1990s.
If for no other reason than that it has "pain grille." Go get 'em, Todd
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#35 Post by Dennis Kanagie » May 15th, 2016, 8:51 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
Dennis Kanagie wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:cellaraiders has the 94 Mondavi Reserve for $89. I hear. From sources.
That's the 1991:

http://www.cellaraiders.com/advanced_se ... 51&x=0&y=0
Sorry; thanks for the correction. Posting from memory.
No worries. Looks like they have a few interesting years. Add Ben @ CellaRaiders' inventory to WineBid's handful of 1995 bottles and there's a nice selection of pre-2000 Mondavi Reserve.
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#36 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 15th, 2016, 8:55 am

I haven't been doing business with Ben very long, but the customer service has been top notch (and included him going out of his way to fix an error that I made). Full marks for cellaraiders.
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#37 Post by John Danza » May 15th, 2016, 12:50 pm

I haven' seen anyone mention BV Georges de Latour as another option for quality. They had a few rough years about 10 years or so ago when they found TCA in the cellar, but otherwise they tend to be solid.

I think you have to go back to at least the 80s and the 70s to experience old school aged Cali Cab. I've gotten a number of good ones through Winebid (no affiliation). They have some in the current auction that are supposedly one-owner from release and well kept, so provenance should be sound (again, no affiliation). Please don't bid on the magnum of 1982 BV Georges de Latour that I'm bidding on. I'm eyeing that for a planned dinner. [thankyou.gif]
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#38 Post by luc@sl@belle » May 15th, 2016, 2:06 pm

maybe some chateau montelana?

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#39 Post by JeromeHan » May 15th, 2016, 2:45 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:I haven't been doing business with Ben very long, but the customer service has been top notch (and included him going out of his way to fix an error that I made). Full marks for cellaraiders.
Is there any way to pick up your orders from cellraiders? I've always kind of been paranoid about shipping wine.

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#40 Post by Dennis Borczon » May 15th, 2016, 3:32 pm

Second vote for 87 Mondavi. Really excellent considering other late 80s California cabs. Easily confused with a top Bordeaux of the 80s.

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#41 Post by Arv R » May 15th, 2016, 3:40 pm

John Danza wrote:I haven' seen anyone mention BV Georges de Latour as another option for quality. They had a few rough years about 10 years or so ago when they found TCA in the cellar, but otherwise they tend to be solid.

I think you have to go back to at least the 80s and the 70s to experience old school aged Cali Cab. I've gotten a number of good ones through Winebid (no affiliation). They have some in the current auction that are supposedly one-owner from release and well kept, so provenance should be sound (again, no affiliation). Please don't bid on the magnum of 1982 BV Georges de Latour that I'm bidding on. I'm eyeing that for a planned dinner. [thankyou.gif]
I like BV too, some of the older 60's, 70's ones are great. Not sure why but they seem to get little love here on WB. Maybe its too common, a supermarket wine if you will.

I even liked their 90's stuff like the 1991 and 1994 versions of GdtL.

Noticed a few days ago that K&L had the 91 BV Rutherford at a low enough to gamble price.
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#42 Post by John Danza » May 15th, 2016, 6:52 pm

Arv R wrote:
John Danza wrote:I haven' seen anyone mention BV Georges de Latour as another option for quality. They had a few rough years about 10 years or so ago when they found TCA in the cellar, but otherwise they tend to be solid.

I think you have to go back to at least the 80s and the 70s to experience old school aged Cali Cab. I've gotten a number of good ones through Winebid (no affiliation). They have some in the current auction that are supposedly one-owner from release and well kept, so provenance should be sound (again, no affiliation). Please don't bid on the magnum of 1982 BV Georges de Latour that I'm bidding on. I'm eyeing that for a planned dinner. [thankyou.gif]
I like BV too, some of the older 60's, 70's ones are great. Not sure why but they seem to get little love here on WB. Maybe its too common, a supermarket wine if you will.
I would hope the Georges de Latour wouldn't be considered common, since it's their higher end cuvee. Maybe it's the common cuvees that make folks think the higher end stuff wouldn't be worth it?
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#43 Post by JeromeHan » May 15th, 2016, 9:41 pm

Thanks to those of you who introduced me to cellaraiders. It seems I will be able to arrange to go pick up my order. I am willing to drive that hour or so instead of trusting shipping.

As I am not as experienced as most of the people here, nor am I as financial liquid it seems, most of these "inexpensive" wines are beyond my grasp. I have had some "expensive" wines such as insignia, caymus ss, calon segur, pape clement, but they were all from a close friend's cellar. When I go to purchase, I max out at about $60 at this point in my wine buying career.

So at this point, I'm leaning toward a few bottles they seem to have:
1995 Dunn Napa
1984 Conn Creek Reserve Cab
1990 or 1984 Mondavi Res
1994 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1995 Frias Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
1992-95 Inglenook Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon

Has anyone tried any of these?

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#44 Post by John Danza » May 15th, 2016, 10:23 pm

Jerome, about 18 months ago I had a 1995 Mondavi Cabernet (not the Reserve) and it was still in excellent shape and not fully mature. As I recall, the price was about $45.
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#45 Post by Dennis Kanagie » May 16th, 2016, 4:41 am

JeromeHan wrote: So at this point, I'm leaning toward a few bottles they seem to have:
1995 Dunn Napa
1984 Conn Creek Reserve Cab
1990 or 1984 Mondavi Res
1994 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1995 Frias Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
1992-95 Inglenook Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon

Has anyone tried any of these?
The last Silver Oak AVs I had were '95 and '99 a couple years back and they were over the hill. Maybe I'm wrong, but the Inglenook seems like it would be a poor choice too. Frias is pretty bold with fruit when young so it might be a very interesting selection - make sure it's from Spring Mountain. Obviously the first three would be the best calls from the recommendations already given in this thread....... expect the Dunn might not be ready yet. [wink.gif] Why not buy the 2 from '84 and try them head to head?
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#46 Post by David Glasser » May 16th, 2016, 6:22 am

I'd go with either of the Mondavi Reserves or the ConnCreek from that list.

If you've had aged Calon or Pape, I think you'll find these differ.

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#47 Post by Rob Weaver » May 16th, 2016, 7:32 am

Had some 1986, 1996 Insignia at the winery yesterday, would highly recommend them, especially the 86. I would echo others on the 87 Mondavi.

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#48 Post by Doug Schulman » May 16th, 2016, 8:43 am

JeromeHan wrote:Thanks to those of you who introduced me to cellaraiders. It seems I will be able to arrange to go pick up my order. I am willing to drive that hour or so instead of trusting shipping.

As I am not as experienced as most of the people here, nor am I as financial liquid it seems, most of these "inexpensive" wines are beyond my grasp. I have had some "expensive" wines such as insignia, caymus ss, calon segur, pape clement, but they were all from a close friend's cellar. When I go to purchase, I max out at about $60 at this point in my wine buying career.

So at this point, I'm leaning toward a few bottles they seem to have:
1995 Dunn Napa
1984 Conn Creek Reserve Cab
1990 or 1984 Mondavi Res
1994 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1995 Frias Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
1992-95 Inglenook Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon

Has anyone tried any of these?
I would definitely get the '84 Mondavi Reserve. The '84-87 stretch are all good vintages for Napa, and the wines are mature now.

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#49 Post by Jim Clary » May 16th, 2016, 11:23 am

Drank a '92 Stag's Leap Cask 23 on Saturday night. It was singing, with years to go. Outstanding wine, and the wine that started me on my love affair with wine.
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Aged Cali Cab

#50 Post by JeromeHan » May 16th, 2016, 8:48 pm

I guess the '84 Mondavi Reserve will be fun, especially as I will be trying my birth year vintage. Never though I would be doing that.

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