most of mine are post '96 - and both 5L are '98, but looks like I have several '96 Cab and a '94 Merlot magnum coming as well.
The 1996 Cabernet is very rich, but elegant and balanced. The 1994 Merlot is one of my favorite wines. Its CellarTracker notes are very positive.
The fill levels across all the older vintages have been excellent.
I took a flyer a couple weeks ago when I saw your original post Victor, and bought some of the 90, 91, 96 Cab, and the 90, 91 Merlot. Fingers crossed!
The 1990 Liparita Cabernet has been at full maturity for quite a while, but we greatly enjoyed it recently. The wonderful general aspect of early-1990’s, old-style California reds has been their immediate drinkability upon release, and stable attributes while aging.
To me, California cabernet and merlot since 1997 have generally been unappealingly ripe, oaky, jammy, and hot at outset. Their very notable expensiveness has made buying and aging them, in hopes of their turning into old-style wines, a questionable bet. Especially with genuine but cheap beauties readily at hand.
I see that comment all the time, but I really think 2001 to present is the stylistic change. 1997 was a hot, ripe vintage, but then 98 and 00 were cool vintages with many more classical tasting wines, and 1999 was a very good and highly underrated vintage in a balanced style.
I think 2001 is really when the “modern style” in California cab and merlot set in most heavily.
Of course, those are very broad comments and individual producers and wines vary widely.
Agreed. Just when Aussie ooze-monsters also ran amok along wine store aisles.
And prices went skyward, too. Who can afford $75 California reds as everyday wines?
Victor, so '90 and '91 still showing well?
The Union Square Cafe wine staffers recently fell over themselves, regarding the 1991 Cabernet, particularly because of its gentle cabernet franc aspects. Finely herbal sweetness, without being green or stalky. The 1990 Cabernet surprised us last week, for aging so well. Heck, a 30-year-old wine for around $25, with much life remaining. Even I might afford that.
Awesome, thanks for sharing this info. Wish I had known before you swept out! Haha shame post '96 aren’t good.
After some wine geeks had repeatedly trashed me on the Parker board for revealing unsold, under-priced gems at retail stores (like Pape Clement 1990 for $50, and Dominus 1994 for $60), to which they felt privately entitled, my WineHunting has become much quieter, but still prolific. A recent gem was 1985 Haut Bages Liberal for just $45.
Notably, those pre-1997 Liparita wines were sitting openly but un-noticed at WineBid for several weeks, as I gradually absorbed several cases. My brother-in-law filled his basement with some. My posts on the Aged Cali Cab and 1992 Liparita Merlot threads were meant as public heads-up signals.
And greatly appreciated.
Vickers Liquors, in Newport RI, has an excellent selection of older California reds. Take a look at its next-best but still very reasonable pricing for the exact same bottlings.
Whoa, those are some crazy finds!! Were they in some random shops or online?!
Random. The Dominus was about five years ago.
I’ve also done well with Vickers liquors. But the last few times I’ve perused their list, it looks like all they have figured out the correct way to price their older wines.
haha yup, I agree with that.
How was it? Have my eyes on 90 and 91 vintages.
Fantastic but still young. It really bloomed in an hour, to become rich, complex, and brawny.
Decent color, after 25 years.