Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

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D.Witwer
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#101 Post by D.Witwer »

I have heard that most <$50 Napa Cabs are not from the same vineyard year after year and are the product of purchased grapes. Given my experience with Paul Hobbs CS Crossbarn, I suspect it's true because I loved the 2007 and 2013 but didn't like any years in between. Can anybody confirm that "purchased grapes" are used in most <$50 CS bottlings and if so, isn't vintage plus producer, as opposed to producer alone, most important?

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#102 Post by John Glas »

Give me a name!
I will give you several.

For cheap Substance is one of the best for $15.00. L'Ecole, Long Shadow Feather usually around $50 on sale, Va Piano (hard to find), Eight Bells (hard to find), Abeja, Seven Hills.

Here are some more detailed notes. Januik offers amazing values.

2017 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills (1/13/2021)
Day 5: Solid with cherry, spice, plum and mild oak. This had been in the fridge and drank over five days. Actually better than the previous bottle and this will do well with some cellaring. (92 points)

2017 Andrew Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Lady Hawk - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills (12/16/2020)
Day 1: Hey is this nice! Jammy fruit in a good way, spice, mild oak, floral and minerals. Medium to long finish and good acidity. Is this impressive. 93 points
Day 2: Cherry, plum, Christmas spices, floral and minerals. Medium plus finish. I liked the intensity of day 1 a bit better. This is still solid. 91 points
Day 3: Very solid and picks up some dark chocolate, spices and gravel. Medium finish. In-between day 1 and 3 in quality. 92 points.
Recommendation: This is a well made Cabernet. Drinking well on a pop and pour or cellar for a few years. (93 points)

2017 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Ciel du Cheval Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain (12/12/2020)
Day 1: Big style Cabernet. Ripe fruit featuring Bing cherries, blueberries, plum along with dark chocolate, spice, coffee beans and mint. Medium to savory long finish. This is a delicious effort and drinks well on a pop and pour but I could see improvement long term. 92 points plus. (92 points)
2016 Andrew Will Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (10/16/2020)
Day 1: Nice overall with Forest floor, minerals, sour cherry and blueberries and bitter chocolate. Complex wine for the price point. Excellent. 91 points
Day 3: Showing well with fruit that is dialed down a bit and featuring bitter chocolate, earth, minerals and forest floor. A nice entry level Cab from Washington. 91 points
Recommendation: Drink now to 2024. (91 points)

2013 Sleight of Hand Cabernet Sauvignon The Illusionist - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (8/26/2020)
Day 1: My second to last bottle of SOH from Chicago Wine Company purchase a few years ago and the best bottle period. Fragrant. Crushed violets, blueberries, Bing Cherries, plum, chocolate and pefume. Medium plus finish and balanced wine. Excellent. 94 points (94 points)
2008 Sleight of Hand Cabernet Sauvignon The Illusionist - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (3/11/2020)
I have had good luck with the Illusionist for multiple vintages. Cherry, blueberries, earth, mild oak and tobacco. Drinking near its peak. (92 points)

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#103 Post by John Glas »

I picked up a 2015 Ramey for our group's blind tasting of cabs. It came in last.
What else was poured? Use to love Ramey but have not bought in a few years. Still buy a lot of their Chards.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#104 Post by John Glas »

I’m not sure I understand the frog’s leap love. There’s nothing wrong with it, certainly, but I’ve always viewed it as something to order at a steakhouse that doesn’t allow corkage if you don’t want to ball out for a big time cab rather than something I’d open at home.
I really like the 15. I have had mixed results with Frog's Leap over the years but it is solid overall. They do dry farming. I would say more of a steakhouse wine would be Caymus, Cakebread and Jordan.

2015 Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Rutherford - USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford (10/11/2018)
Excellent dry styled Cabernet. Stones, red currants, dust, floral and mild oak. This is really nice and balanced. You could enjoy this for a decade. Great buy for $50. (92 points)

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#105 Post by David Crow »

What do people think about Chateau Montelena Napa cab in this category? I think it can usually be had around $50. I haven’t had it in a while but I recall it being a pretty solid classically styled cab and solid value. I’ve had some aged examples as well from the late 90s that held up pretty well.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#106 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

John Glas wrote: April 24th, 2021, 8:16 am
I’m not sure I understand the frog’s leap love. There’s nothing wrong with it, certainly, but I’ve always viewed it as something to order at a steakhouse that doesn’t allow corkage if you don’t want to ball out for a big time cab rather than something I’d open at home.
I really like the 15. I have had mixed results with Frog's Leap over the years but it is solid overall. They do dry farming. I would say more of a steakhouse wine would be Caymus, Cakebread and Jordan.

2015 Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Rutherford - USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford (10/11/2018)
Excellent dry styled Cabernet. Stones, red currants, dust, floral and mild oak. This is really nice and balanced. You could enjoy this for a decade. Great buy for $50. (92 points)
The times I’ve had it it’s been fine but nothing special.

As I said I would only buy it at a steakhouse if I wanted something cheap.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#107 Post by Taylor Broussard »

Peter Petersen wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 9:44 am Just bought 6 of the 2016 Domaine Eden Cabernet for $29.99 from K&L.
Just bought 4 myself! And added 2 of the 2017 Domaine Eden Chardonnay as well at $20. (Also on special).

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#108 Post by John Glas »

As I said I would only buy it at a steakhouse if I wanted something cheap.
I would never buy a wine at a steakhouse as the markups are off the charts. We are fortunate in MN we can do corkage but I know some states don't allow it. I would just order a few beers.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#109 Post by jnbrown »

Zachary Mancini wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 5:38 am Amici is decent also. Their regular cab is usually around 40. Also, Harriet and Harvey from my favorite neighbor is good as well.
Just had the MFN 2018 Cabernet as it was on sale for $35 at my local bistro.
PNP was kind of rough and disjointed.
Much better on day two.
While enjoyable, not sure it is worth even $35.
After reading this thread I am tempted to try Frog's Leap.
I am not a big Cali Cab drinker, I like Rhone wines better.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#110 Post by Ben M a n d l e r »

D.Witwer wrote: April 24th, 2021, 7:33 am I have heard that most <$50 Napa Cabs are not from the same vineyard year after year and are the product of purchased grapes. Given my experience with Paul Hobbs CS Crossbarn, I suspect it's true because I loved the 2007 and 2013 but didn't like any years in between. Can anybody confirm that "purchased grapes" are used in most <$50 CS bottlings and if so, isn't vintage plus producer, as opposed to producer alone, most important?
It really depends. A lot of Napa Cabs are from purchased grapes, whether or not they are single vineyard designated. That doesn’t mean they’re any better or worse, just that the producer of the wine doesn’t own the vineyard.

A few wineries have a lot of estate fruit, or bottle predominantly from estate fruit. Take St Supery example - they have the enormous Dollarhide vineyard up in Pope Valley so they don’t need to buy in much if any fruit. Same with Stonestreet. Frogs Leap is, I believe, all estate fruit. Truchard, too? Chappellet has a lot of estate fruit but I believe they also purchase some. Someone can correct me on any of the above!

Whether it’s estate or purchased, most producers have more expensive labels that will take the best barrels of the best sites, so the blend going into their AVA wines will vary from year to year. The winemaker will still try to ensure that the less expensive wines are of consistent quality from year to year, especially because those wines are usually the highest production, the ones being sold in stores or by the glass at restaurants, so they’re important for the winery’s reputation. But I do find that you see a higher “floor” on the AVA wines in particularly good vintages.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#111 Post by J. Migone »

Frogs Leap or Montelena are the best Cali Cabs under $50. You can also find Heitz on sale under $50 sometimes.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#112 Post by K. Tr@n »

Inglenook Napa cab can be had for $50.
Phelps, Heitz are around 50-55 at Costco are solid choices.
I don't get the Frog's Leap love, either.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#113 Post by Albert R »

K. Tr@n wrote: April 25th, 2021, 8:57 am Inglenook Napa cab can be had for $50.
Phelps, Heitz are around 50-55 at Costco are solid choices.
I don't get the Frog's Leap love, either.
We just had a 2015 Inglenook on Friday. Very good indeed.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#114 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

John Glas wrote: April 24th, 2021, 10:00 am
As I said I would only buy it at a steakhouse if I wanted something cheap.
I would never buy a wine at a steakhouse as the markups are off the charts. We are fortunate in MN we can do corkage but I know some states don't allow it. I would just order a few beers.
Just depends; I’ve seen frog’s leap <$100 not infrequently, at which point it’s not so bad.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#115 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Yeah I heard inglenook isn’t bad.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#116 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Taylor Broussard wrote: April 24th, 2021, 9:14 am
Peter Petersen wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 9:44 am Just bought 6 of the 2016 Domaine Eden Cabernet for $29.99 from K&L.
Just bought 4 myself! And added 2 of the 2017 Domaine Eden Chardonnay as well at $20. (Also on special).

That’s quite a deal! I think I paid around $40 recently.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#117 Post by Zachary Mancini »

jnbrown wrote: April 25th, 2021, 8:24 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 5:38 am Amici is decent also. Their regular cab is usually around 40. Also, Harriet and Harvey from my favorite neighbor is good as well.
Just had the MFN 2018 Cabernet as it was on sale for $35 at my local bistro.
PNP was kind of rough and disjointed.
Much better on day two.
While enjoyable, not sure it is worth even $35.
After reading this thread I am tempted to try Frog's Leap.
I am not a big Cali Cab drinker, I like Rhone wines better.
Did you have the Harriet and Harvey from MFN or just MFN?

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#118 Post by Neal.Mollen »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: April 25th, 2021, 9:43 am
Taylor Broussard wrote: April 24th, 2021, 9:14 am
Peter Petersen wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 9:44 am Just bought 6 of the 2016 Domaine Eden Cabernet for $29.99 from K&L.
Just bought 4 myself! And added 2 of the 2017 Domaine Eden Chardonnay as well at $20. (Also on special).

That’s quite a deal! I think I paid around $40 recently.
Vinous says "soft, pliant and fruity." The first and third descriptions are right up your Ovid-loving alley. The middle one is right up John's.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#119 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Neal.Mollen wrote: April 25th, 2021, 10:42 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: April 25th, 2021, 9:43 am
Taylor Broussard wrote: April 24th, 2021, 9:14 am

Just bought 4 myself! And added 2 of the 2017 Domaine Eden Chardonnay as well at $20. (Also on special).

That’s quite a deal! I think I paid around $40 recently.
Vinous says "soft, pliant and fruity." The first and third descriptions are right up your Ovid-loving alley. The middle one is right up John's.
And “upper register”! Harvard Johnny prolly apoplectic right now!
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#120 Post by Neal.Mollen »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: April 25th, 2021, 10:55 am
Neal.Mollen wrote: April 25th, 2021, 10:42 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: April 25th, 2021, 9:43 am


That’s quite a deal! I think I paid around $40 recently.
Vinous says "soft, pliant and fruity." The first and third descriptions are right up your Ovid-loving alley. The middle one is right up John's.
And “upper register”! Harvard Johnny prolly apoplectic right now!
A Yalie would get it. Shame.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#121 Post by Brian Lynch »

Moon Mountain cabs from Sonoma '16- '18
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#122 Post by jnbrown »

Zachary Mancini wrote: April 25th, 2021, 9:44 am
jnbrown wrote: April 25th, 2021, 8:24 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 5:38 am Amici is decent also. Their regular cab is usually around 40. Also, Harriet and Harvey from my favorite neighbor is good as well.
Just had the MFN 2018 Cabernet as it was on sale for $35 at my local bistro.
PNP was kind of rough and disjointed.
Much better on day two.
While enjoyable, not sure it is worth even $35.
After reading this thread I am tempted to try Frog's Leap.
I am not a big Cali Cab drinker, I like Rhone wines better.
Did you have the Harriet and Harvey from MFN or just MFN?
It was just the MFN.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#123 Post by Zachary Mancini »

jnbrown wrote: April 25th, 2021, 3:24 pm
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 25th, 2021, 9:44 am
jnbrown wrote: April 25th, 2021, 8:24 am

Just had the MFN 2018 Cabernet as it was on sale for $35 at my local bistro.
PNP was kind of rough and disjointed.
Much better on day two.
While enjoyable, not sure it is worth even $35.
After reading this thread I am tempted to try Frog's Leap.
I am not a big Cali Cab drinker, I like Rhone wines better.
Did you have the Harriet and Harvey from MFN or just MFN?
It was just the MFN.
Got to try the Harriet and Harvey

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#124 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Zachary Mancini wrote: April 25th, 2021, 10:49 pm
jnbrown wrote: April 25th, 2021, 3:24 pm
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 25th, 2021, 9:44 am

Did you have the Harriet and Harvey from MFN or just MFN?
It was just the MFN.
Got to try the Harriet and Harvey
If someone had a wine and thought it wasn’t worth $35 per bottle AT A RESTAURANT (that’s a ridiculously low bar, yellowtail is probably $35/btl at a restaurant) I doubt they’ll seek out other bottles from the producer.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#125 Post by F.Daner »

Michael- it depends on where your palate is towards Napa Cabernet is my guess. I've seen you post on a variety of wines so looks like you enjoy a broad spectrum. We seem to have the same opinion on Di Costanzo and it's one of my favorites as well. I can't answer for everyone but for me here is why I love Frog's Leap.

The wines are made with restraint and balance but have plenty of fruit. The Cab comes in under 14% alc and has a restrained us of oak. It is a bit lighter body then DI CO. It's built to age and it's all estate fruit from Rutherford. My wife and I first love was Napa Cab. I've been buying since 2000 vintage. As I've gotten older though I have really struggled with some of my former favorites to get past one glass. I've sold off a bunch of the bigger names to folks who will enjoy them better than me. We always drain any Frog's Leap wine before and with food. These also age so well and the wine club has access to a terrific library. Right now the only new Cabs I'm buying are Frog's Leap, Di Costanzo and Long Meadow Ranch. We had a great visit with them in 2019 and they were super generous and poured several library wines.

Long Meadow is another one I'd highly recommend if you lean towards wines from the 80's and 90's. Depending on what I'm eating I might give the nod to Long Meadow over Frog's leap as it has a bit more stuffing but their Rutherford Estate is $68 so didn't meet the price point of the OP. Love the wines though and if you miss what Caymus used to be try one of these.



Cheers


Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:02 am I’m not sure I understand the frog’s leap love. There’s nothing wrong with it, certainly, but I’ve always viewed it as something to order at a steakhouse that doesn’t allow corkage if you don’t want to ball out for a big time cab rather than something I’d open at home.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#126 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

My general thoughts on this is the times I’ve had frog’s leap I’ve found it underwhelming, lacking the purity of fruit, focus, and texture I want from a Napa cab, and yes it’s lighter bodied. If I want something food friendly I’ll drink bdx or burg. Btw at the $50 price point something I’d far prefer are the mondavi oakville wines.

I don’t really drink all that much Napa cab, it might be 5% of the cellar, and if I’m going to drink one it’s probably not $50/btl.

Here are some I like:

Neal Family (especially SVD)
Realm
Di Costanzo
Myriad
Lewelling
William and Mary
Beta
Detert
Macdonald
Maybach
Pride
EMH
Bevan
Elyse

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#127 Post by Stan Y. »

Again this topic got me to try something yesterday that's outside my usual range. My sister who is a big cab lover came over for dinner on the driveway last night with my dad so I picked up '18 Ontogeny at the wine-and-bait gas station a couple of miles from here. This Bevan guy sure knows the 'recipe' for my stereotype of Napa Cabernet, in a big style that still isn't fatiguing to drink or over-the-top. Good wine. Graphite with creamy vanilla? Check. Oodles of blackberry? Check. Furry tannins? Check. Big salinity in the big finish? Check. With very good complexity and balance. If this Elyse Napa is strongly reminiscent, I need to keep it on tap for my sister :-).
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#128 Post by F.Daner »

My cab spectrum used to line up as broadly as that. Not sure your age Michael but alcohol impact definitely something we've noticed on the north side of 50 along with finding many of the wines just too heavy. Wish those Lewelling were made like they used to be.

I forgot about Neal and EMH. Have a bunch of those. As for the big names I've sold almost all off other than Kapcsandy, Blankiet and MacDonald. Finally got some of Will's wines but haven't tried one yet. Good reminder for the Mondavi Oakville. I think a good bit of fruit comes from To Kalon. As for $50 price point while not my question or target I found the higher end wines no longer a good return for me but happy they found homes here. [cheers.gif]

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 5:40 am My general thoughts on this is the times I’ve had frog’s leap I’ve found it underwhelming, lacking the purity of fruit, focus, and texture I want from a Napa cab, and yes it’s lighter bodied. If I want something food friendly I’ll drink bdx or burg. Btw at the $50 price point something I’d far prefer are the mondavi oakville wines.

I don’t really drink all that much Napa cab, it might be 5% of the cellar, and if I’m going to drink one it’s probably not $50/btl.

Here are some I like:

Neal Family (especially SVD)
Realm
Di Costanzo
Myriad
Lewelling
William and Mary
Beta
Detert
Macdonald
Maybach
Pride
EMH
Bevan
Elyse
Fred

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#129 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Stan Y. wrote: April 26th, 2021, 6:18 am Again this topic got me to try something yesterday that's outside my usual range. My sister who is a big cab lover came over for dinner on the driveway last night with my dad so I picked up '18 Ontogeny at the wine-and-bait gas station a couple of miles from here. This Bevan guy sure knows the 'recipe' for my stereotype of Napa Cabernet, in a big style that still isn't fatiguing to drink or over-the-top. Good wine. Graphite with creamy vanilla? Check. Oodles of blackberry? Check. Furry tannins? Check. Big salinity in the big finish? Check. With very good complexity and balance. If this Elyse Napa is strongly reminiscent, I need to keep it on tap for my sister :-).
Yeah I would say the wines are very similar in style; 18 ontogeny is fantastic. you’ll like the Elyse.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#130 Post by Zachary Mancini »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:25 am
Stan Y. wrote: April 26th, 2021, 6:18 am Again this topic got me to try something yesterday that's outside my usual range. My sister who is a big cab lover came over for dinner on the driveway last night with my dad so I picked up '18 Ontogeny at the wine-and-bait gas station a couple of miles from here. This Bevan guy sure knows the 'recipe' for my stereotype of Napa Cabernet, in a big style that still isn't fatiguing to drink or over-the-top. Good wine. Graphite with creamy vanilla? Check. Oodles of blackberry? Check. Furry tannins? Check. Big salinity in the big finish? Check. With very good complexity and balance. If this Elyse Napa is strongly reminiscent, I need to keep it on tap for my sister :-).
Yeah I would say the wines are very similar in style; 18 ontogeny is fantastic. you’ll like the Elyse.
See people have different pallets. I don’t think the ontogeny 18 is that good.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#131 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:31 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:25 am
Stan Y. wrote: April 26th, 2021, 6:18 am Again this topic got me to try something yesterday that's outside my usual range. My sister who is a big cab lover came over for dinner on the driveway last night with my dad so I picked up '18 Ontogeny at the wine-and-bait gas station a couple of miles from here. This Bevan guy sure knows the 'recipe' for my stereotype of Napa Cabernet, in a big style that still isn't fatiguing to drink or over-the-top. Good wine. Graphite with creamy vanilla? Check. Oodles of blackberry? Check. Furry tannins? Check. Big salinity in the big finish? Check. With very good complexity and balance. If this Elyse Napa is strongly reminiscent, I need to keep it on tap for my sister :-).
Yeah I would say the wines are very similar in style; 18 ontogeny is fantastic. you’ll like the Elyse.
See people have different pallets. I don’t think the ontogeny 18 is that good.
Some people have good palates and others don’t. There’s no accounting for taste.

If you don’t like 18 Ontogeny you don’t like Napa.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#132 Post by Zachary Mancini »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:39 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:31 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:25 am

Yeah I would say the wines are very similar in style; 18 ontogeny is fantastic. you’ll like the Elyse.
See people have different pallets. I don’t think the ontogeny 18 is that good.
Some people have good palates and others don’t. There’s no accounting for taste.

If you don’t like 18 Ontogeny you don’t like Napa.
definitely wrong and not true. All I have is high end napa. The 18 Ontogeny is closed and tight. Might be better in a few years. But your blanket statement is totally inaccurate.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#133 Post by Jim F »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 5:40 am My general thoughts on this is the times I’ve had frog’s leap I’ve found it underwhelming, lacking the purity of fruit, focus, and texture I want from a Napa cab, and yes it’s lighter bodied. If I want something food friendly I’ll drink bdx or burg. Btw at the $50 price point something I’d far prefer are the mondavi oakville wines.

I don’t really drink all that much Napa cab, it might be 5% of the cellar, and if I’m going to drink one it’s probably not $50/btl.

Here are some I like:

Neal Family (especially SVD)
Realm
Di Costanzo
Myriad
Lewelling
William and Mary
Beta
Detert
Macdonald
Maybach
Pride
EMH
Bevan
Elyse
That is a nice list, all well ,add wines. It does, however, represent some pretty divergent styles and includes some very modern, very rich wines vs “restraint” as alluded to earlier in this string. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#134 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:51 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:39 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:31 am

See people have different pallets. I don’t think the ontogeny 18 is that good.
Some people have good palates and others don’t. There’s no accounting for taste.

If you don’t like 18 Ontogeny you don’t like Napa.
definitely wrong and not true. All I have is high end napa. The 18 Ontogeny is closed and tight. Might be better in a few years. But your blanket statement is totally inaccurate.
It was wide open for me, Jeb Dunnick and for Stan who just bought it at a gas station. Sounds like a bottle issue.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#135 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Jim F wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:13 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 5:40 am My general thoughts on this is the times I’ve had frog’s leap I’ve found it underwhelming, lacking the purity of fruit, focus, and texture I want from a Napa cab, and yes it’s lighter bodied. If I want something food friendly I’ll drink bdx or burg. Btw at the $50 price point something I’d far prefer are the mondavi oakville wines.

I don’t really drink all that much Napa cab, it might be 5% of the cellar, and if I’m going to drink one it’s probably not $50/btl.

Here are some I like:

Neal Family (especially SVD)
Realm
Di Costanzo
Myriad
Lewelling
William and Mary
Beta
Detert
Macdonald
Maybach
Pride
EMH
Bevan
Elyse
That is a nice list, all well made wines. It does, however, represent some pretty divergent styles and includes some very modern, very rich wines vs “restraint” as alluded to earlier in this string. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
My main requirement for Napa wines are that I’d like them to taste like Napa. I also want purity of fruit, some opulence, and good texture. I don’t at all care about restraint when it comes to Napa.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#136 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

This note below is sort of what Bevan Ontogeny is to me, but much more of a positive note. I think you get just a little more site specificity with the higher end bottlings but I feel like the Bevan wines are in many cases exactly what I’m looking for from Napa.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177925&p=3205522&hi ... 0#p3205522

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#137 Post by larry schaffer »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:14 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:51 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:39 am

Some people have good palates and others don’t. There’s no accounting for taste.

If you don’t like 18 Ontogeny you don’t like Napa.
definitely wrong and not true. All I have is high end napa. The 18 Ontogeny is closed and tight. Might be better in a few years. But your blanket statement is totally inaccurate.
It was wide open for me, Jeb Dunnick and for Stan who just bought it at a gas station. Sounds like a bottle issue.
Or maybe not. Could just not appeal to him - and to say someone doesn't like Napa because they don't like a specific wine . . . sheesh. I'm hoping it was tongue in cheek.

Cheers.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#138 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:42 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:14 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:51 am

definitely wrong and not true. All I have is high end napa. The 18 Ontogeny is closed and tight. Might be better in a few years. But your blanket statement is totally inaccurate.
It was wide open for me, Jeb Dunnick and for Stan who just bought it at a gas station. Sounds like a bottle issue.
Or maybe not. Could just not appeal to him - and to say someone doesn't like Napa because they don't like a specific wine . . . sheesh. I'm hoping it was tongue in cheek.

Cheers.
It was not.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#139 Post by B. Buzzini »

I have a hack answer to my question...this wine checks all the boxes for me...super dry graphite, deep terroir driven mountain "cab" fruit, tight firm structure yet ready silky smooth tannins, complex and expressive right out the gate, yet can age some...winery with history and unique terroir...cool labels...can't just pick up a bottle at the grocery store or bevmo, yet is widely available at $49.95......................it is................
Click to see spoiler:
Mayacamas Vineyards Merlot
[cheers.gif]
Meursault-head!

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#140 Post by larry schaffer »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 9:53 am
larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:42 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:14 am

It was wide open for me, Jeb Dunnick and for Stan who just bought it at a gas station. Sounds like a bottle issue.
Or maybe not. Could just not appeal to him - and to say someone doesn't like Napa because they don't like a specific wine . . . sheesh. I'm hoping it was tongue in cheek.

Cheers.
It was not.
As a part of this wine community, I always try to stay cordial with folks, even if we have different opinions. Telling someone publicly that their palate is not 'good' or that they do not have good taste is simply not cool. And I hope others jump on here and agree with me. We as a community are better than this and I hope you can see that.

And Zachary, keep on posting, even if your posts offer alternative points of view.

Cheers.
larry schaffer
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#141 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:05 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 9:53 am
larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:42 am

Or maybe not. Could just not appeal to him - and to say someone doesn't like Napa because they don't like a specific wine . . . sheesh. I'm hoping it was tongue in cheek.

Cheers.
It was not.
As a part of this wine community, I always try to stay cordial with folks, even if we have different opinions. Telling someone publicly that their palate is not 'good' or that they do not have good taste is simply not cool. And I hope others jump on here and agree with me. We as a community are better than this and I hope you can see that.

And Zachary, keep on posting, even if your posts offer alternative points of view.

Cheers.
If you’ve followed my posting history you probably know I’m going to say exactly what I think; if people don’t agree or like it they’re free to ignore.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#142 Post by Rodrigo B »

larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:05 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 9:53 am
larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 8:42 am

Or maybe not. Could just not appeal to him - and to say someone doesn't like Napa because they don't like a specific wine . . . sheesh. I'm hoping it was tongue in cheek.

Cheers.
It was not.
As a part of this wine community, I always try to stay cordial with folks, even if we have different opinions. Telling someone publicly that their palate is not 'good' or that they do not have good taste is simply not cool. And I hope others jump on here and agree with me. We as a community are better than this and I hope you can see that.

And Zachary, keep on posting, even if your posts offer alternative points of view.

Cheers.
Completely Agree with you Larry. Wine's entirely subjective and everyone's entitled to have their preferences, regardless of what they are.

Recommending other wines for others to try is, I think, always welcome to broaden the conversation, and it's also fair game to note your dislikes for a grape, region, producer, wine style etc. However those are different than shooting down someone's preferences because they don't match yours. The latter is just unwarranted.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#143 Post by B. Buzzini »

B. Buzzini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 9:56 am I have a hack answer to my question...this wine checks all the boxes for me...super dry graphite, deep terroir driven mountain "cab" fruit, tight firm structure yet ready silky smooth tannins, complex and expressive right out the gate, yet can age some...winery with history and unique terroir...cool labels...can't just pick up a bottle at the grocery store or bevmo, yet is widely available at $49.95......................it is................
Click to see spoiler:
Mayacamas Vineyards Merlot
[cheers.gif]
Put my money where my mouth is...just picked up 6 pack of the 2016 at Bottlebarn for $45 with 10% coupon(vinoten), and I think if you use this link you can get $20 off as well? http://i.refs.cc/QNj0IvP3?smile_ref=eyJ ... xsfQ%3D%3D
Meursault-head!

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#144 Post by Stan Y. »

B. Buzzini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 9:56 am I have a hack answer to my question...this wine checks all the boxes for me...Spoiler
Hahaha my wine gas station has that ('14 Mt. Veeder xxxx), will have to put it on the list :-).
S. Y @ t € s

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#145 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Rodrigo B wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:24 am
larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:05 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 9:53 am

It was not.
As a part of this wine community, I always try to stay cordial with folks, even if we have different opinions. Telling someone publicly that their palate is not 'good' or that they do not have good taste is simply not cool. And I hope others jump on here and agree with me. We as a community are better than this and I hope you can see that.

And Zachary, keep on posting, even if your posts offer alternative points of view.

Cheers.
Completely Agree with you Larry. Wine's entirely subjective and everyone's entitled to have their preferences, regardless of what they are.

Recommending other wines for others to try is, I think, always welcome to broaden the conversation, and it's also fair game to note your dislikes for a grape, region, producer, wine style etc. However those are different than shooting down someone's preferences because they don't match yours. The latter is just unwarranted.
I’m not the one calling Jeb Dunnick a joke. If someone doesn’t like the wines I like I’m fine with them letting me know. Greg K does it all the time.

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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#146 Post by Rodrigo B »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:51 am
Rodrigo B wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:24 am
larry schaffer wrote: April 26th, 2021, 10:05 am

As a part of this wine community, I always try to stay cordial with folks, even if we have different opinions. Telling someone publicly that their palate is not 'good' or that they do not have good taste is simply not cool. And I hope others jump on here and agree with me. We as a community are better than this and I hope you can see that.

And Zachary, keep on posting, even if your posts offer alternative points of view.

Cheers.
Completely Agree with you Larry. Wine's entirely subjective and everyone's entitled to have their preferences, regardless of what they are.

Recommending other wines for others to try is, I think, always welcome to broaden the conversation, and it's also fair game to note your dislikes for a grape, region, producer, wine style etc. However those are different than shooting down someone's preferences because they don't match yours. The latter is just unwarranted.
I’m not the one calling Jeb Dunnick a joke. If someone doesn’t like the wines I like I’m fine with them letting me know. Greg K does it all the time.
I wasn't making a comment towards you or any specific person on the forum. Just agreeing with Larry's broader sentiment that everyone's entitled to their own preferences and that as a community shooting down someone's palate because we don't like the same wines is unnecessary. And as, I noted, I think commenting that your palate doesn't align with someone else's in a respectful manner is completely fine.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#147 Post by Stan Y. »

I can definitely understand both preferences and bottle variation on this. Interestingly someone's cellartracker note on the Elyse (David?) was "It’s a style of wine I profess to not like, but Russell somehow makes it cool." Could have written that myself about this. And there are a couple of cellartracker notes that don't sound like the wine I was drinking. It's part of what makes this an interesting hobby.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#148 Post by Neal.Mollen »

Who called Jeb a joke?

Larry's right.
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#149 Post by YLee »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:39 am
Zachary Mancini wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:31 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: April 26th, 2021, 7:25 am

Yeah I would say the wines are very similar in style; 18 ontogeny is fantastic. you’ll like the Elyse.
See people have different pallets. I don’t think the ontogeny 18 is that good.
Some people have good palates and others don’t. There’s no accounting for taste.

If you don’t like 18 Ontogeny you don’t like Napa.
What an ass
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Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

#150 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Neal.Mollen wrote: April 26th, 2021, 12:19 pm Who called Jeb a joke?

Larry's right.
Zachary
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