1974 Sterling Cabernet

We went over to a friend’s house Saturday night. Among a large number of wines tasted, I had a Sterling Cabernet from 1974 that I had brought. I found this a couple of years ago at a store that had purchased it as part of a cellar and got it for $20. Best $20 I have spent on a bottle of wine in a very long time. This was a fabulous bottle of Cabernet. I wonder how many of the more recent gobs and gobs wines from California will taste anything like this (or even be anything close to alive) at 35 years old. Very smooth and well balanced with a lot of flavor interest. The wine is perfectly mature, but does not seem in any real danger of falling apart. I bet it will be good in 5 years.

Was this the regular? A Reserve in 375 was fabulous a couple of months ago.

Ironically, I also have enjoyed a bottle of 1974 Sterling Cabernet recently (‘regular’ bottling), and it was fantastic - plenty of life in the fruit, still good grip throughout, and completely enjoyable.


This was the regular bottle with the great old label.

Thanks for the note Howard. I’m still looking for my first Sterling(Forman) experience from the 70’s but am hearing nothing but praise. And to answer the above, they won’t be. The wines that do age well taste and feel nothing like the wines that get all the clamor from Napa these days.

But am I correct in remembering that the current Forman wines are still made in his older style? Haven’t had anything post-1987 but that was still a wine built for the long term.

Several of us (Whetstone, Ed Gonzales, the Stonekings, Jane Benjamin, me) visited Forman during Berserkerfest I and can confirm that these are still made in the older style - built to age, and of such a beautiful structure and style.

I should buy some of his Cabernet then.

Agreed. Ric is still making some terrific Cabs and Forman is on my short list of favorite California producers.

Fwiw, I had the '78 Sterling Napa recently and it was beautiful.


Edited. Was talking to a buddy named John while typing and suddenly Ric Forman became John Forman.

Isn’t that after Forman left and Coca Cola bought Sterling? Interesting that they were still making good wine.

The 06 is currently out there and be careful as it is the ripest Forman I can remember trying. Coincidentally, it also got the biggest RMP score ever. [whistle.gif]

Coca-Cola bought Sterling in '77. Not sure if Forman stayed on for the '78, or if that was the year he went to Newton.


Coincidentally? headbang deadhorse [truce.gif] [shock.gif]

Thanks for the note on this. Despite not being a cab guy, I’m a big fan of those '70s Forman Sterlings. I still have a bottle of the '74 Reserve that I’m looking forward too.