Classic Old School Napa & California Cabernet

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Tom K.
Posts: 410
Joined: October 13th, 2011, 7:11 pm
Location: Cary, NC

Classic Old School Napa & California Cabernet

#1 Post by Tom K. » May 27th, 2019, 8:05 am

Ridge 83 YC tw.jpeg
Ren 95 TW.jpg
Both photos above are from my dinner table. I wanted to taste before I offered these time capsule wines. These are nothing short of an extraordinary opportunity to step back in time with incredible Cabernet from California...1983 and 1995 in this case. These are both drinking Incredibly Well Now!

1983 Ridge York Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Spring Mountain, Napa Valley

My Tasting Note (4/25/19)
A surprisingly deep core, some brick on the edges. A really complex nose of secondary and tertiary notes from its 35+ years of age, aromas of dried red and black fruits, cigar wrapper, mixed spices, leather, fall leaves and forest floor. The palate is focused, still pretty deep, and exceeds what you would expect in a Napa Cabernet that is 35+ years old. Finishes with fully resolved, fine tannin and some cool, complex mountain fruit. A good 5-10, maybe more years on this one.

Ridge's only Napa Valley source is York Creek vineyard located on Spring Mountain, north of St. Helena, on the western edge of Napa Valley. Today Ridge only makes Petite Sirah and Zinfandel from this site, but back in the 70s and 80s it was also the source of this magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Planted at 1,250 – 1,800 feet above sea level on Spring Mountain AVA amidst the pine trees of the natural surrounding of the area, the Cabernet from this AVA are easily recognizable such as Philip Togni & Pride Mountain to name just a few. The York Creek vineyard then, like it does now, produces fruit with a purity of character that is distinctive of it's mountain pedigree.

The creek, for which the vineyard is named, flows year round and is a defining feature of the landscape. In warmer months, the water exerts a mitigating influence on the ambient vineyard temperature. This, along with York Creek’s unique position high atop the Mayacamas Range, means that this particular site is markedly cooler than vineyards on the valley floor. Elevation and cooler temperatures allow the grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly and to retain their acidity, which makes for complex and age-worthy wine.

$199.99, net 5 bottles available


1995 Premiere Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon
Renaissance Vineyards & Winery
Yuba County, Sierra Foothills, CA

76% Cabernet Sauvignon
24% Merlot

My Tasting Note (5/3/19)
Deep, vibrant in the core and the edges, a great first sign. The nose was rich and energetic with intensity and complexity. The nose showed both primary notes of fruit, as well as secondary and tertiary notes of black cherry, ripe cassis, black raspberry, notes of crushed garden herbs like sage and thyme, with pips of wood spice like cedar and redwood. Great levels of concentration and only 12.5% ABV. One of the best Cabernet from pre-2000 I have had in a while. Catching this now is such a treat, the fruit is both primary and tertiary, just adding to the overall complexity. Long and VERY persistent in the finish, fine tannin sail into the 60+ second finish.

The Cabernet Sauvignon Premiere Cuvee is Renaissance's intended 'signature' wine, the one the winery sees as the richest, fullest, most long-lived of its Bordeaux varietal wines and the proof is in the bottle. I am buying some of this for myself!

$74.99, net

Tom Kobylarz
Wine Solutions

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