Aged Cali Cab

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Aged Cali Cab

#101 Post by Dan Kravitz »

I mostly don't trust anything over 30 that is not from Bordeaux, but will stretch that a little for good, sturdy CA Cabs.

Under-the-radar vintages are often best:

1982
1984
1987 (not really under the radar)
1990
1992

Get any track record classic from one of those vintages and you should get what you are looking for.

All of those listed below should be findable in the ~$75 - 150 range?

The Santa Cruz Mountain trifecta:
Ridge Monte Bello
Mount Eden
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard 'Bates Ranch'

Napa:
Chateau Montelena
Mondavi Reserve
BV Private Reserve
Beringer
Mayacamas (25 year minimum)
Chappelet
Charles Krug (very underrated)

Sonoma
Kenwood
Chateau St. Jean
Gallo
Laurel Glen

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Aged Cali Cab

#102 Post by Ian Brand »

82 durney reserve is firing right now.
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Aged Cali Cab

#103 Post by Harry Cantrell »

Nathan, how can a 78 anything be Parkerized????

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Aged Cali Cab

#104 Post by Victor Hong »

Harry Cantrell wrote:Nathan, how can a 78 anything be Parkerized????
When sold at an Acker Merrall auction.
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Aged Cali Cab

#105 Post by Dan Kravitz »

I haven't read any of this stuff or done any research, but Parker did a lot of retrospectives. The 1832 Lafite was Parkerized. I don't think he tasted it out of barrel or even on release.

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Aged Cali Cab

#106 Post by JIMCOH »

I had a '92 Togni at Thanksgiving dinner, and it was glorious. An absolutely great example of aged Cali Cab.
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Aged Cali Cab

#107 Post by Jayson Cohen »

No old Dunn? I’ve felt the 78, 82, and 84 are finally coming around and a fairly recent 74. Don’t ask me which Napa and which Howell.

Mayacamas from the 70s are my personal favorites when I’ve been lucky to have someone share.

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Aged Cali Cab

#108 Post by Victor Hong »

https://www.winebid.com/BuyWine/Item/64 ... rlot-15ltr

Perfect Christmas wine...........for the relatives. Big and cheap. Any TNs?
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Aged Cali Cab

#109 Post by Mike Maguire »

Nathan Smyth wrote:1995.

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

It's the best vintage of the 1990s.
This, the Mondavi is good but Insignia blows it out of the water IMHO

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Aged Cali Cab

#110 Post by DAVID GIBBS »

'70 Heitz MV last night was absolutely delicious. Mint, licorice, dark fruit, and still a little bit of a tannic bite, it's pretty much everything you look for in an older Cali cab. Seems to be in a really nice place and will like stay there for a bit.
Served blind, the table thought it was no more than 10-15 years old.
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Aged Cali Cab

#111 Post by Victor Hong »

WineHunter: Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon 1994, $17 per bottle recently.

Wow, what a gripping wine! After open for two days to air in my refrigerator, this cheapo wine is a stunner. It offers a plush, velvety, and muscular palate of ripe raspberry, brown spices, bitter chocolate, eucalyptus, iron, cinnamon, and espresso. The nose fully reaffirms these tastes. The barest of elegant oak threads its way through a very long, echoing finish. Its tannins have softened and rounded, wrapping a background of very lively but friendly acidity. This wine has years to age, before hitting a gently sloped fully maturity.
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Aged Cali Cab

#112 Post by jason stein »

Mike Maguire wrote:
Nathan Smyth wrote:1995.

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

It's the best vintage of the 1990s.
This, the Mondavi is good but Insignia blows it out of the water IMHO
95 Togni allllll the way. Was at an amazing place in December
instagram: @jtswine

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#113 Post by Victor Hong »

Tonight, that Clos Pegase 1994 exudes unctuous black olive notes. Just lovely, especially for its affordable pricing.
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#114 Post by Marcu$ Stanley »

I had a 1992 Togni this summer that was fantastic. Kept developing and unfolding over the hour or so we drank it, it's far from its last legs.

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Aged Cali Cab

#115 Post by anthonyshideler »

Any Beringer Private Reserve from 1986-1993.
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#116 Post by Victor Hong »

The cheap, early-1990's stuff has really disappeared, especially from auction sites.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#117 Post by Victor Hong »

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#118 Post by K John Joseph »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 14th, 2016, 11:52 am I like the 91-94 run.

Dalla Valle
Togni
Dunn
If you're just trying to get a handle on what a 25 year old napa is like then yes, try these (other than Dunn, of course), Chateau Montelena, or Ridge Monte Bello.

Dalla Valle is quite long lived and typically had a pretty beefy tannic structure. 91-94 has some very good vintages, especially the bookends, but if you'd like a very nice example that's reasonably affordable, look for a 1995 Dalla Valle. It should be drinking really well. 1996 Montelena Estate is lovely, and will be much cheaper than the 97.

You will pay a mean premium for 1991, 1994, 1997. 96 for Monte Bello as well, but probably not for the others.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#119 Post by K John Joseph »

Geez. Missed the date of the OP and didn't realize this was a V. Hong revival.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#120 Post by S. Stevenson »

DAVID GIBBS wrote: November 26th, 2017, 8:03 am '70 Heitz MV last night was absolutely delicious. Mint, licorice, dark fruit, and still a little bit of a tannic bite, it's pretty much everything you look for in an older Cali cab. Seems to be in a really nice place and will like stay there for a bit.
Served blind, the table thought it was no more than 10-15 years old.
This. A fabulous wine. The '68,'69 and '70 MV's maybe the finest consecutive trio of wines the New World has ever produced.
Stan

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#121 Post by D.Callahan »

Sometimes auctions can be useful in obtaining older bottles if you don't mind throwing the dice on provenance. I picked up a 1987 Heitz Martha's for $181 and a 1991 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Mag for $458 just a couple of weeks ago. Both a bit pricey but I wanted to try some "old style" Cali Cabs.

I've had some of those 90s Beringer Private Reserves and very much enjoyed them, although I would treat them gently and do no more than a moderate slo-ox on them since the last one I had started to deteriorate after 2 hours in a decanter (it was a 1993 I think).
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#122 Post by Dan Kravitz »

What a steal on the Laurel Glens!

I just retrieved a few older CA Cabs from storage, hope to get some wine drinkers over around the holidays, but with Matt a teetotaler and Sally mostly not drinking (and then mostly Roses), I'm in a wine drinker's desert. I have a lot of wines with bottle age. It doesn't suit me to open something wonderful that will probably not be very good the next day and discard, or lose the quality of, half a bottle of great wine.

As for Heitz MV '68, '69 and '70 being the greatest trio of New World Cabs, I've had all three (but none recently). Very great wines, but IMO not a claim you can make if you haven't had multiple consecutives starting from 1958 for such producers as:
BV
Inglenook (both regular and Cask selections)
Krug (ditto)
Mayacamas
Mount Eden
Montelena
Diamond Creek
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards
Ridge

and there are a lot more where those came from.
Ritchie Creek
Laurel Glen
White Cottage
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#123 Post by Mattstolz »

now that this thread has popped back up...

for people with experience, what would the recc be for open time and decanting for these wines? say some of these 70s era Mondavis and similar?

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#124 Post by Dan Kravitz »

IMO, most California Cabs, with the exceptions of Mount Eden, Ridge and Mayacamas (and very very early Inglenooks and BVs), do not need, and often cannot take, much more than 30+ years.

For '70s Mondavis, I would decant and drink.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#125 Post by David Allen »

K John Joseph wrote: December 17th, 2018, 8:22 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 14th, 2016, 11:52 am
You will pay a mean premium for 1991, 1994, 1997. 96 for Monte Bello as well, but probably not for the others.


A 1996 Monte Bello I enjoyed last month is a candidate for WOTY for me. Unbelievable red fruit, mint, herbs, and minerals. Lively acidity and long finish too. An unsung vintage.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#126 Post by Larry Link »

Mattstolz wrote: December 17th, 2018, 4:05 pm now that this thread has popped back up...

for people with experience, what would the recc be for open time and decanting for these wines? say some of these 70s era Mondavis and similar?
I’v tasted quite a few 70s and 80s cabs from producers like Heitz, Ridge, BV and Diamond Creek. Typically they don’t need a long decant. My routine is to open 1-2 hours before tasting, and pour a quick taste to ensure that the wine is sound (not corked etc). If sound, I let the wine stand in the cellar until serving and then do a quick decant to remove the sediment, then pour right away. These wines typically aren’t fragile so you could decant earlier, but I haven’t seen big improvements from longer decant times. I do think they show best at close to cellar temperature and can lose detail if served too warm.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#127 Post by Arv R »

Victor Hong wrote: December 17th, 2018, 4:47 am Food fight.
Weirdly enough, we had this a few weeks ago.

http://www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com/ ... 11&p=69446

It's very likable, very European
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#128 Post by M.Kaplan »

'85 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill (magnum) last month with the X-Pensive Winos was very good, with plenty of verve. Buying any 33 year old wine is an iffy proposition, but Volcanic Hill from that era were very sturdy. I purchased it on release (3 bottle box with Gravelly Meadow and Red Rock Terrace) and brought a backup to dinner, because you never can tell...
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#129 Post by Mattstolz »

Larry Link wrote: December 17th, 2018, 9:36 pm
I’v tasted quite a few 70s and 80s cabs from producers like Heitz, Ridge, BV and Diamond Creek. Typically they don’t need a long decant. My routine is to open 1-2 hours before tasting, and pour a quick taste to ensure that the wine is sound (not corked etc). If sound, I let the wine stand in the cellar until serving and then do a quick decant to remove the sediment, then pour right away. These wines typically aren’t fragile so you could decant earlier, but I haven’t seen big improvements from longer decant times. I do think they show best at close to cellar temperature and can lose detail if served too warm.
Dan Kravitz wrote: December 17th, 2018, 5:39 pm IMO, most California Cabs, with the exceptions of Mount Eden, Ridge and Mayacamas (and very very early Inglenooks and BVs), do not need, and often cannot take, much more than 30+ years.

For '70s Mondavis, I would decant and drink.

Dan Kravitz
thanks to you both for the advice! I've only ever opened old Nebbiolo based reds and they definitely need the air time. I'll go with a much shorter open time for these.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#130 Post by Jim Clary »

Recently drank a ‘59 Charles Krug at Press in St. Helena that someone purchased off their list and sent over to the table for me as a gift. It was the wine of the night, a real feat considering we had an ‘89 Haut-Brion and several other treasures sitting on the table. What struck me the most was how youthful it seemed. Really thrilling stuff.
Last edited by Jim Clary on June 8th, 2020, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#131 Post by Keith A k e r s »

Mattstolz wrote: December 17th, 2018, 4:05 pm now that this thread has popped back up...

for people with experience, what would the recc be for open time and decanting for these wines? say some of these 70s era Mondavis and similar?
I think decanting for sediment and slowly enjoying from there is the way to go. IME, the wines can be fairly sturdy and don't fall apart too quickly

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#132 Post by S. Stevenson »

Dan Kravitz wrote: December 17th, 2018, 3:59 pm What a steal on the Laurel Glens!

I just retrieved a few older CA Cabs from storage, hope to get some wine drinkers over around the holidays, but with Matt a teetotaler and Sally mostly not drinking (and then mostly Roses), I'm in a wine drinker's desert. I have a lot of wines with bottle age. It doesn't suit me to open something wonderful that will probably not be very good the next day and discard, or lose the quality of, half a bottle of great wine.

As for Heitz MV '68, '69 and '70 being the greatest trio of New World Cabs, I've had all three (but none recently). Very great wines, but IMO not a claim you can make if you haven't had multiple consecutives starting from 1958 for such producers as:
BV
Inglenook (both regular and Cask selections)
Krug (ditto)
Mayacamas
Mount Eden
Montelena
Diamond Creek
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards
Ridge

and there are a lot more where those came from.
Ritchie Creek
Laurel Glen
White Cottage
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Dan Kravitz
Pretty much had them all including Hallcrest, Chapplette, Yverdon, Martini SS, etc. ( with BVPR '58 being the best single wine), but nothing comes close to that consecutive trio.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#133 Post by Mattstolz »

1977 ROBERT MONDAVI CABERNET RESERVE
From benchmark wine offer about 2 months ago. Stood up about 1 day prior to opening. Cork in fantastic shape, used the Adouze method no problems at all. Decanted about 30 mins prior to first taste, but could tell even while decanting that we had a winner. Sweet Cabernet fruit permeated the whole room. Surprised by how little sediment this wine had.

Bright clear dark ruby wine. Nose has definitely moved towards tertiary tones but is much more sweet fruit and cedar type note driven. Palate matches driven by fruit and smooth silky resolved tannin. Fantastic bright acidity complements some of the heavy tertiary notes and balances well.

Overall this wine is in a great sweet spot and the acidity makes me think it will still hover there for a few more years. If you’re lucky enough to have some of these around, great time to open one up for the holidays!
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#134 Post by Dan Kravitz »

Stan,

I am definitely impressed. You have had a lot more of these than I have. We agree on '58 BVPR. I had it once, probably ~25 years ago and I can still taste it!

About 15 years ago I did a big Mayacamas vertical with Parker. '74 - '77 were pretty much universally acclaimed as monumental. I never had the Heitz Martha's trio together, but from memory they were also monuments.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#135 Post by Jason T »

‘79 Mayacamas is pretty damn good too.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#136 Post by Dan Kravitz »

Jason,

IIRC, at the Mayacamas vertical with Parker, we found '74 - '77 just incredible, then a huge step down with '78. I don't think we had '79!

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#137 Post by Victor Hong »

WineHunter.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#138 Post by Eric Reichenbach »

My mouth is watering reading all of the replies. I have had many of the suggested wines!
The old Monte Bellos are beautiful! I tip my hat to the old Mount Edens as well.

In the last few years, we have had a few from 1973. The Mondavi reserve as well as Chappellet (made by Philip Togni.)
Both rocked. The Chapp shined by the 2 hour decant mark. The Mondavi I believe was approaching 90 minutes.
I love these oldies! Enjoy!
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#139 Post by Edward H. Earles »

The best Cab I ever tasted was a 1996 Altamura from a 6-L bottle that we drank in the summer of 2016. The wine was spectacular....hard to imagine that Cab could get any better than that one.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#140 Post by S. Stevenson »

Dan Kravitz wrote: December 19th, 2018, 5:46 pm Stan,

I am definitely impressed. You have had a lot more of these than I have. We agree on '58 BVPR. I had it once, probably ~25 years ago and I can still taste it!

About 15 years ago I did a big Mayacamas vertical with Parker. '74 - '77 were pretty much universally acclaimed as monumental. I never had the Heitz Martha's trio together, but from memory they were also monuments.

Dan Kravitz
Dan,

I found an inventory list I made in 1980 with wines from 1966 to 1974:
(Not including many of the wines already mentioned above).

Sadly, these all all memories.

Spring Mountain
Souverain
Sebastini (Private reserve)
Oakville(Reserve)
Simi
Charles Krug(PR)
Mt. Veeder
Rothschild Brothers
Freemark Abby Bosche
Sterling Reserve
Burgess (Vintage Selection)
Franciscan
Foppiano
Gryser Peak
Buena Vista Cask 25
Ruby Hill
Silver Oak
Raymond
Clos du Val
Ridge MB
Stag's Leap Cask 23
Stan

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#141 Post by JFertitta »

JIMCOH wrote: November 25th, 2017, 6:17 pm I had a '92 Togni at Thanksgiving dinner, and it was glorious. An absolutely great example of aged Cali Cab.
I've had this a number of times over the past 3 years and it's always been fantastic
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#142 Post by Victor Hong »

WineHunter.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#143 Post by JohnP »

Robert Mondavi 77' 78' or even 79' will be a great education in older CaliCabs. Have tried 77' and 79' several times, but I hear the 78' was the best of the decade. WineBid has some available, this Sun is the last time to bid before tax is applied. Good excuse to take the plunge.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#144 Post by Jeremy Holmes »

'87 and '91 Mondavi Reserves are really good and should be obtainable.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#145 Post by Hank Victor »

Spring Mountain Vineyard wines from 80's, 90's, and early 2000s are easy to source and in my experience go the distance with age.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#146 Post by Victor Hong »

The recent liquidation of apparently a well-stored personal library, consisting of early 1990's Liparita cabernet sauvignon and merlot, was quite the buying opportunity.

For years, I had WineHunted for these bottlings, and spotted only bits and pieces for twice the Winebid prices. Several cases arrived at the now-expired subsidized delivery costs. Perfect timing.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=167337&p=2908982#p2908982
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#147 Post by Brian Pinci »

John Danza wrote: 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]
I opened a magnum of the BV George’s de Latour from 1985 last year. Blew the socks off my entire family.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#148 Post by J a y H a c k »

I vote for 1974 as the vintage of the second half of the last century for Cali Cabs. I have one bottle of the 1974 Fetzer generic cabernet left from a case I bought in 1977. $2.50 a bottle by the case. The last one I drank was in 2002. I keep one as a curiosity, planning to open it at a Berserkerfest at my house, but I always forget. Too much sediment to travel. Color looks pretty ugly and the storage was horrible for at least the first 9 years. BUT if I have a chance to buy a 1974 in good condition, I grab it.
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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#149 Post by Ross Jones »

I recently had a 1996 Beringer Cabernet Private Reserve and it was in the running for wine of the night. It's definitely at peak right now, but still has plenty of life ahead of it. It's a shame the Beringer name is so doluted as some of their Private Reserve Cabs have aged really well. If we had tasted it blind, it could have easily been mistaken for an older Bordeaux.

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Re: Aged Cali Cab

#150 Post by Thomas Keim »

'84 and '87 are highly underrated vintages, and worth seeking out for all the names listed above - the '87 Montelena is still one of my all time favorite Cabs with a little bottle age -
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