The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines)

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AlexO
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The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines)

#1 Post by AlexO » May 9th, 2019, 8:13 am

A while back, I remember when they tried to redefine the wonders of the world. In order to make sure the classifications were fair, they came up with multiple lists, like the natural wonders, and the medieval wonders, etc...

I'm sure there are other threads that have attempted this, but I thought we could put some structure around the different categories, here are my thoughts:

Should be limited to 5 specific wines (not wineries) per category. Also, to keep it simple, let's keep it to bordeaux varietal (or pure cab) wines.

Should take into account: quality / secondary market performance / desireability & demand / vineyard source / demonstrated consistent performance within the specified time range:

Overall First Growth:

Screaming Eagle
Shafer Hillside Select
Colgin IX Estate
Lokoya Mt Veeder
Scarecrow

Overall Second Growth:

Harlan
Hundred Acre Few and Far Between
Lokoya Howell Mtn
Dominus
Hobbs To Kalon


Modern First Growth (2005 - Present) Current Cult Wines:

MacDonald
Christopher Tynan Meleagris Gallopavo
Realm Absurd
Schrader Old Sparky
Tusk

We can certainly add other categories, or expand the lists to Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Rhone Varietals, etc... but I thought this was a good place to start! I will also take all the lists and count each name as 1 point to see if we can come up with a collective ranking.

Have fun!
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#2 Post by Brandon R » May 9th, 2019, 9:07 am

Fun exercise to think about for sure. Wouldn't the California First Growths be those along the lines of Beaulieu, Mayacamas, Chateau Montelena, Matanzas Creek, Mondavi, Inglenook, Charles Krug, Louis M. Martini, etc.?

[edit] Nevermind: I just reread the last line before your lists.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#3 Post by Anton D » May 9th, 2019, 9:14 am

I will leave out secondary market and desirability.

Also going for a several decade performance history for my “classics” list. Some old favorites are gone, so listing ones that are still made.

First Growth:

Dominus

Mondavi Reserve

Diamond Creek, but I like all three of their usual bottlings, so just “Diamond Creek.”

Spottswoode

Ridge Monte Bello

Followed closely by second growths...

Dunn HM

Philip Togni

Peter Michael Les Pavots

Forman

Shafer Hillside

Chateau Montelena

*New Stars* Too short a track record but really fine right now...

Roy Piper

This may be wrong, it’s not a newbie, but Kapcsandy, either State Lane or Roberta’s Reserve (it can be my Pomerol!)

MacDonald

Pondering which Pott/Myriad

-

For the first and second growths, I tried to exclude ‘culty’ wines, they can tend toward fashion and social signaling rather than track record...for me.

List subject to change! I have the right to see someone else’s list and laugh at myself and jump on their bandwagon!!

Apologies to Beringer Reserve, Groth Reserve, Martha’s Vineyard, and other beloved classics.
Last edited by Anton D on May 9th, 2019, 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#4 Post by S. Rash » May 9th, 2019, 9:17 am

Where would Diamond Creek fit on this list? I would put it as first or second growth. What do you think?
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#5 Post by Anton D » May 9th, 2019, 9:18 am

Also, as I ponder, wanting to choose wineries that use their own grapes.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#6 Post by Scott E. » May 9th, 2019, 9:23 am

Not that I know anything about these wines, but isn't the term "First Growth" associated with estate vineyards (the land) and not purchased grapes? Cheers!
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#7 Post by A. So » May 9th, 2019, 9:34 am

Ridge MB is not Napa
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#8 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 9th, 2019, 9:41 am

Anton D wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 9:18 am
Also, as I ponder, wanting to choose wineries that use their own grapes.
I like that thought if we call them "first growths." First boughts does not have the same ring!
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#9 Post by RyanC » May 9th, 2019, 9:46 am

Heitz Martha's needs to be a FG by any reasonable definition, right?
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#10 Post by Anton D » May 9th, 2019, 9:49 am

A. So wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 9:34 am
Ridge MB is not Napa
D’oh!

I skipped that part!
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#11 Post by Josh Grossman » May 9th, 2019, 9:49 am

Anton D wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 9:18 am
Also, as I ponder, wanting to choose wineries that use their own grapes.
It makes it hard because I would almost think of doing it by vineyard?

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#12 Post by Mike Grammer » May 9th, 2019, 10:00 am

Like all this, fun thread! Does Dalla Valle get in there somewhere? Maybe a 2nd growth? And Abreu? Bryant and Phelps Insignia also to be considered maybe.


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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#14 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 9th, 2019, 10:19 am

Mike Grammer wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 10:00 am
Phelps Insignia also to be considered maybe.
I think Phelps is useful to discuss a point. Are the "firsts" supposed to be at least somewhat accessible? I suppose Screagle is "great", but if only a very few will ever see, much less drink a bottle, what's the point. Phelps Insignia, Shafer Hillside, etc. can actually be purchased, and are often consumed.

With the Bordeaux firsts, they may be pricey, but if you want a bottle you can get a bottle.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#15 Post by Andrew Dodd » May 9th, 2019, 11:03 am

AlexO wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 8:13 am

Overall First Growth:

Screaming Eagle
Shafer Hillside Select
Colgin IX Estate
Lokoya Mt Veeder
Scarecrow

Overall Second Growth:

Harlan
Hundred Acre Few and Far Between
Lokoya Howell Mtn
Dominus
Hobbs To Kalon


Lokoya Mt Veeder over Harlan?

I (personally) wouldn't put anything Lokoya has ever made in first or second growth....way overpriced and nothing special IMHO

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#16 Post by GregT » May 9th, 2019, 11:14 am

Josh Grossman wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 9:49 am
Anton D wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 9:18 am
Also, as I ponder, wanting to choose wineries that use their own grapes.
It makes it hard because I would almost think of doing it by vineyard?
Different issues. The first growths in Bordeaux were only selected by their reputations and prices they fetched in England. They were not selected, nor were they designated by vineyards. Over the years the vineyard holdings associated with the chateaux changed, expanding and contracting as a chateau bought or sold parcels here and there. To be labeled as coming from one area or another, the only requirement is that the land be within the larger commune. It would be like exchanging vineyard properties between Far Niente, Caymus, Mondavi, and Cakebread as long as they are all in Oakville.

I would class them the way they are done in Bordeaux, i.e - wealthy owners who don't get their hands dirty pruning vines or making wine, and reputation and price. So Grgich and Mondavi and Montelena couldn't be part of it, since the owners actually made wine themselves. Harlan and Shrader OTOH, would fit.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#17 Post by William Segui » May 9th, 2019, 11:17 am

The OP uses Classified Growths (Bordeaux) but then lists them by vineyard a la Burgundy. I think the Burgundian model works better here (ie: many folks make great wine from ToKalon, like many folks make great wine from Clos de la Roche)

*I also sense a 10,000 word Piper post coming soon!

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#18 Post by Anton D » May 9th, 2019, 11:40 am

David’s observations are great,
GregT nailed it, too!

William is spot on about how California works.

I will leave my list intact and call them “First Growth Houses.”

House Mondavi, etc.

Get some Dune and GOT nerds involved!
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#19 Post by Eric S n y d e r » May 9th, 2019, 11:41 am

William Segui wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:17 am
The OP uses Classified Growths (Bordeaux) but then lists them by vineyard a la Burgundy. I think the Burgundian model works better here (ie: many folks make great wine from ToKalon, like many folks make great wine from Clos de la Roche)

*I also sense a 10,000 word Piper post coming soon!
Kind of fun to look at the same place using both models. There’s certain wineries that are going to turn out top tier juice from any of their sites (or combination of).

There’s also vineyards that I would consider Grand Cru, such as To Kalon (which you could say has “grands” sections and lesser sections a la Echezeaux) and is sourced by many wineries, or the “monopole” Thorevilos.

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#20 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 9th, 2019, 11:45 am

Anton D wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:40 am
David’s observations are great,
GregT nailed it, too!

William is spot on about how California works.

I will leave my list intact and call them “First Growth Houses.”

House Mondavi, etc.

Get some Dune and GOT nerds involved!
Sadly House Mondavi was obliterated by House Harkonnen.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#21 Post by Joe Raymond » May 9th, 2019, 11:49 am

VHR? Modern First Growth?
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#22 Post by William Segui » May 9th, 2019, 11:57 am

Eric S n y d e r wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:41 am
Kind of fun to look at the same place using both models. There’s certain wineries that are going to turn out top tier juice from any of their sites (or combination of).
To take this one step further, when you remove the estate component from a winery, what are we really talking about? The winemaker, how would one incorporate that into the matrix?
There’s also vineyards that I would consider Grand Cru, such as To Kalon (which you could say has “grands” sections and lesser sections a la Echezeaux) and is sourced by many wineries, or the “monopole” Thorevilos.
Is Thorevilos owned by Abreu? I didn't know that.

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#23 Post by NoahR » May 9th, 2019, 11:59 am

[pillow-fight.gif] Come on, people, I think the answer is clear and obvious here.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#24 Post by Eric S n y d e r » May 9th, 2019, 12:03 pm

William Segui wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:57 am
Eric S n y d e r wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:41 am
Kind of fun to look at the same place using both models. There’s certain wineries that are going to turn out top tier juice from any of their sites (or combination of).
To take this one step further, when you remove the estate component from a winery, what are we really talking about? The winemaker, how would one incorporate that into the matrix?
There’s also vineyards that I would consider Grand Cru, such as To Kalon (which you could say has “grands” sections and lesser sections a la Echezeaux) and is sourced by many wineries, or the “monopole” Thorevilos.
Is Thorevilos owned by Abreu? I didn't know that.
Maybe not a perfect example. I believe Abreu and Ric Forman planted it, and might still co-own/farm it. Forman occasionally takes fruit from it, but so far only blends into the Forman cab (like in 2015, per Galloni).

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#25 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » May 9th, 2019, 12:10 pm

William Segui wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:57 am
Eric S n y d e r wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:41 am
Kind of fun to look at the same place using both models. There’s certain wineries that are going to turn out top tier juice from any of their sites (or combination of).
To take this one step further, when you remove the estate component from a winery, what are we really talking about? The winemaker, how would one incorporate that into the matrix?
There’s also vineyards that I would consider Grand Cru, such as To Kalon (which you could say has “grands” sections and lesser sections a la Echezeaux) and is sourced by many wineries, or the “monopole” Thorevilos.
Is Thorevilos owned by Abreu? I didn't know that.
I thought it was Thanos.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#26 Post by Rob_S » May 9th, 2019, 12:40 pm

I think most "1st growth" Napa wines are more Le Pin and Petrus than Latour and Margaux... Screagle is certainly Petrus.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#27 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 9th, 2019, 12:57 pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 12:10 pm
William Segui wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:57 am


Is Thorevilos owned by Abreu? I didn't know that.
I thought it was Thanos.
Oh snap! ;)
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#28 Post by NoahR » May 9th, 2019, 1:14 pm

First Growths:
To Kalon (Mondavi, Macdonald)?
Screagle
Harlan
Scarecrow
Monte Bello (don’t care it’s not in Napa)

Second Growths (and I think these are probably Firsts in a lot of minds. Consistent over time though maybe not quite as Culty)
Dominus
Opus One
VHR
Maya
Heitz Martha’s

Third Growths
Schrader
HSS
Forman
Dunn
Colgin
Diamond Creek

Fourth Growths
Spottswoode
Abreu
Maybach
Phelps
DANA
Lokoya
Hundred Acre
Montelena
Peter Michael?
Other Beckstoffers? G3?
BOND
Corison



This is based on tasting, general reputation and price stability in the secondary market as I look at it today. Just throwing it out there.

I’m sorry but I don’t think Tusk makes top 30. And would love for history to include Mayacamas and Stags Leap and others, and the various Beckstoffer plots are problematic just as the various offerings from Schrader and others are problematic.

It may make more sense to use a more Burgundian look at GC vs PC terroir. Given the difference is style between benchland and mountain vineyards, there’s likely not much agreement there.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#29 Post by Wes Barton » May 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm

Eisele should be there. Known great site. Owned by a First Growth. Tended and made by veteran Chateau Latour folks.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#30 Post by NoahR » May 9th, 2019, 1:31 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm
Eisele should be there. Known great site. Owned by a First Growth. Tended and made by veteran Chateau Latour folks.
Agree. Forgot that one.

I don’t know what to do about sites that have sold out to larger companies. Where does Schrader fit now? Kapczandy? And then the historical properties like Inglenook and Krug?
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#31 Post by David K o l i n » May 9th, 2019, 1:35 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm
Eisele should be there. Known great site. Owned by a First Growth. Tended and made by veteran Chateau Latour folks.
My first instinct for First Growth

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#32 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » May 9th, 2019, 1:38 pm

Off the top of my head, and off course some shuffling around after more thought (I went with vineyard and not producer):

1st

To Kalon
Martha's
Eisele
Screaming Eagle
Dalla Valle
Herb Lamb
Diamond Creek


2nd
Bacchus
True
Weitz
Spottswoode
George III
Colgin IX
Tychson
Scarecrow (Waffling on 1st)
Bryant Family
Dominus
Shafer Hillside


3rd
Three Palms
Paragigm Oakville Estate
Bonny's
Las Piedras
Hayne
Stagecoach
Larkmead
Vine Hill Ranch


4th and 5th

Too many to name
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#33 Post by Vince T » May 9th, 2019, 2:03 pm

Lafite and Mouton each produce 15-20k cases of wine a year. Except for Opus One, you could probably fit every other mentioned vineyard into Lafite and then some. Even Petrus makes 2500 cases per year... multiple times the production of most Napa cult cabs.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#34 Post by Gabe Berk » May 9th, 2019, 2:30 pm

1st Growth:
Mondavi (To Kalon/Opus)
Chappellet
Heitz
Beaulieu Vineyards
Joseph Phelps
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2nd Growth:
Screaming Eagle
Dominus
Harlan
Diamond Creek
Mayacamas
Chateau Montelena
Beringer
Bryant Family
Colgin
Shafer
Schrader


3rd Growth:
Spottswood
Kongsgaard
Araujo (Eisele)
Far Niente
Dunn
Forman
Lail
Groth
Dalla Valle
Cardinale
Scarecrow
Hundred Acre
Lakoya
Corison
Continuum
Realm

4th Growth:
Every Thomas Rivers Brown, Melka, Paul Hobbs, Ramey, Abreu, Barrett, Welch, Erickson, Touquette, Bevan consulted pet project for the rich where their initial bottle release is $200+

So many I know I'm missing.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#35 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 9th, 2019, 2:33 pm

I am not sure why you want to inflict a classification on the good wines of Napa.

Far from being a good thing, the 1855 classified growths has held the region back. By making it about brand rather than land, it soon became totally out of date, and only survives because of entrenched interests that keep it going.

At best it is a possible indication of quality, but can be incredibly misleading. For example in many instances, the land from the classification is completely different to the land it now holds. And of course, we all can point to wines which should be classified differently. When I did my own survey, I would reclassify around half of them.

Sadly, it has devolved into a marketing tool, and a pretty poor net at that. And if we look at other classifications, they are either irrelevant (Pessac/Graves) or incredibly litigious. As a fun mental exercise, fine, but hopefully, nobody will ever try and do this seriously.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#36 Post by Wes Barton » May 9th, 2019, 2:53 pm

Gabe Berk wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 2:30 pm

3rd Growth:
Araujo (Eisele)
Yes, making blueberry milkshakes out of that fruit still made respectable wines, but that's history. First Growth and a new benchmark for Napa. Back to traditional ripeness. No new oak....
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#37 Post by NoahR » May 9th, 2019, 3:11 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 2:53 pm
Gabe Berk wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 2:30 pm

3rd Growth:
Araujo (Eisele)
Yes, making blueberry milkshakes out of that fruit still made respectable wines, but that's history. First Growth and a new benchmark for Napa. Back to traditional ripeness. No new oak....
Of that list, you’re singling our Araujo for blueberry milkshake? That could apply to 2/3 of the list!!
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#38 Post by Rob_S » May 9th, 2019, 3:25 pm

So as a vineyard where would Dr. Crane stand?
utherland

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#39 Post by NoahR » May 9th, 2019, 3:30 pm

Rob_S wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 3:25 pm
So as a vineyard where would Dr. Crane stand?
Makes some great wines but was basically a reclaimed housing area that was supposedly the Chinatown of St. Helena in the 20’s. Was replanted to Cab-et-cetera in 1998, so hardly an historic site.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#40 Post by K John Joseph » May 9th, 2019, 3:45 pm

This is fascinating. First Growths are First Growths in Bordeaux because of an 1855 ranking (with an amendment for Mouton). We're ranking these today, right? If we looked at Napa today and said, let's take the past 20-30 years because many have changed hands and many up and comers have since established themselves as lions, what do we have? Heitz, BV, Mondavi, Montelena, and Stags Leap wouldn't have a chance in hell at being considered Tier 1 Napa wines. Maybe they were from 1960-1989, but not since. Lafite, Margaux, Latour et al. are still famous for producing the best wines of Bordeaux in each vintage. Those others aren't doing anything close to that in Napa. So the list would, in my opinion, need to balance past performance with current performance.

I would probably start with:

FIRST GROWTHS:
Screagle
Colgin
Shafer Hillside
Abreu
Harlan
Dominus

SECOND GROWTHS:
Schrader
Scarecrow
Bond
Spottswoode
Realm
Hundred Acre
Hobbs Beckstoffer
Lokoya

THIRD GROWTH
Ridge MB
Montelena Estate
Carter
Kapscandy
Chappellet Pritchard Hill
Dunn (meh)
Corison
Phelps Insignia

Damn. This gets really tough.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#41 Post by Wes Barton » May 9th, 2019, 3:54 pm

NoahR wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 3:11 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 2:53 pm
Gabe Berk wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 2:30 pm

3rd Growth:
Araujo (Eisele)
Yes, making blueberry milkshakes out of that fruit still made respectable wines, but that's history. First Growth and a new benchmark for Napa. Back to traditional ripeness. No new oak....
Of that list, you’re singling our Araujo for blueberry milkshake? That could apply to 2/3 of the list!!
Nope. Just pointing out an obsolete listing.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#42 Post by GregT » May 9th, 2019, 4:01 pm

I am not sure why you want to inflict a classification on the good wines of Napa.

Far from being a good thing, the 1855 classified growths has held the region back. By making it about brand rather than land, it soon became totally out of date, and only survives because of entrenched interests that keep it going.

At best it is a possible indication of quality, but can be incredibly misleading. For example in many instances, the land from the classification is completely different to the land it now holds. And of course, we all can point to wines which should be classified differently. When I did my own survey, I would reclassify around half of them.

Sadly, it has devolved into a marketing tool, and a pretty poor net at that. And if we look at other classifications, they are either irrelevant (Pessac/Graves) or incredibly litigious. As a fun mental exercise, fine, but hopefully, nobody will ever try and do this seriously.
I couldn't agree more. It's an intellectual game, but I certainly hope there's no serious move to do classifications of that nature in the US. They're just a way for the current players to entrench themselves. The US wine industry has done wonderfully well without classifications or rules regarding what can be grown where. That's a fine way for things to remain.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#43 Post by Ron Erickson » May 9th, 2019, 4:43 pm

I'm kind of surprised there is no mention of Viader. It's been a long time since I have purchased the proprietary red, but it's always held cult status.

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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#44 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 9th, 2019, 4:54 pm

It has been interesting reading the thread. I have had a handful of these wines at most
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#45 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 9th, 2019, 5:04 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 4:54 pm
It has been interesting reading the thread. I have had a handful of these wines at most
Same here, interesting.

Additionally, for me, I would not even want to drink most of them again (I have had the great majority at least once).
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#46 Post by AlexO » May 9th, 2019, 5:04 pm

Andrew Dodd wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:03 am
AlexO wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 8:13 am

Overall First Growth:

Screaming Eagle
Shafer Hillside Select
Colgin IX Estate
Lokoya Mt Veeder
Scarecrow

Overall Second Growth:

Harlan
Hundred Acre Few and Far Between
Lokoya Howell Mtn
Dominus
Hobbs To Kalon


Lokoya Mt Veeder over Harlan?

I (personally) wouldn't put anything Lokoya has ever made in first or second growth....way overpriced and nothing special IMHO
I agree that Lokoya is a bold choice, but I could say the same thing about Harlan, that's it's way overpriced and while good, it's nothing special these days. Hence I included it on my 2nd Growth List.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#47 Post by AlexO » May 9th, 2019, 5:07 pm

William Segui wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 11:17 am
The OP uses Classified Growths (Bordeaux) but then lists them by vineyard a la Burgundy. I think the Burgundian model works better here (ie: many folks make great wine from ToKalon, like many folks make great wine from Clos de la Roche)

*I also sense a 10,000 word Piper post coming soon!
I agree completely with your idea that the Burgundian model potentially works better here. However, with the exception of the Realm Absurd, each one of the wines I chose was from a specific vineyard source.

i think there was a thread awhile back that attempted to rank the best vineyards in Napa and other places in CA.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#48 Post by AlexO » May 9th, 2019, 5:13 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 3:45 pm
This is fascinating. First Growths are First Growths in Bordeaux because of an 1855 ranking (with an amendment for Mouton). We're ranking these today, right? If we looked at Napa today and said, let's take the past 20-30 years because many have changed hands and many up and comers have since established themselves as lions, what do we have? Heitz, BV, Mondavi, Montelena, and Stags Leap wouldn't have a chance in hell at being considered Tier 1 Napa wines. Maybe they were from 1960-1989, but not since. Lafite, Margaux, Latour et al. are still famous for producing the best wines of Bordeaux in each vintage. Those others aren't doing anything close to that in Napa. So the list would, in my opinion, need to balance past performance with current performance.

I would probably start with:

FIRST GROWTHS:
Screagle
Colgin
Shafer Hillside
Abreu
Harlan
Dominus

SECOND GROWTHS:
Schrader
Scarecrow
Bond
Spottswoode
Realm
Hundred Acre
Hobbs Beckstoffer
Lokoya

THIRD GROWTH
Ridge MB
Montelena Estate
Carter
Kapscandy
Chappellet Pritchard Hill
Dunn (meh)
Corison
Phelps Insignia

Damn. This gets really tough.
No MacDonald?
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#49 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 9th, 2019, 5:16 pm

There are not even 10 vintages of MacDonald out there. Not even close to a long enough track record to be ranked.
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Re: The Comprehensive Hypothetical Napa Classified Growth Lists (and what we might consider to be the current cult wines

#50 Post by AlexO » May 9th, 2019, 5:21 pm

I would argue that for cult status, MacDonald checks all the boxes that Screaming Eagle / Harlan / Maya / Bryant / Grace / etc... all checked 15-20 years ago.
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