Long Gone Napa Cabs

Dreadfully old California Cab from a no-longer-in-business producer. I bought a small lot for a song as I dig 1984 as a vintage and thought the Manley Cuvee notation might mean Manley Lane fruit from the western side of Rutherford. Long ago I think Manley Vineyard fruit was used in Insignia, they grow Merlot and Cab Sav there now. I can find very little about Bay Cellars (website under construction for many years now it seems) but I liked the “Fermented & Bottled” line on the label. Emeryville is East Bay for those who don’t know.

Cork was saturated thru its bottom 2/3s but still firm. Nose was old cab all the way, stinky funk, and the wine had a light red color with some bricking on the meniscus. Mouthfeel was light too but the fruit was very lively still and this wine did not fall apart in the 90 minutes it took to nearly disappear, lots of sediment though. Red cherries and plums dominated the taste and I particularly enjoyed the down-the-fairway finish. Wish I’d bought more.

BTW I heavily edited this title and original post so I can add the occasional bottle from antiquity to this thread, maybe some folks here can shed some light on these now-defunct producers.

Mikey who?

You man, you’ll drink any Cab so I just used the play on the old commercial. This was actually quite nice and very typical old Cabernet.

Nice. I remember that commercial. All that Life cereal paid off for Mikey.

Great note. I had a few similar labels in my time: no buzz, not well known, but performed well. 1975 Lost Hills Cabernet was one. $5 and crazy good. Emptied the shelf in 1985. Wish I had one to judge today. I bet it would show nice.

You’re right, I have not met a cab I didn’t taste… [snort.gif]


I just read e-mail from the inside folks @ Joseph Phelps mentioning that they thought two different 1975 wines they made have never been equaled. I have not appreciated that vintage to be so long-lasting.

I believe I have a bottle of their Pinot Noir from the early 80’s. Guess I need to open it one of these days.

If the 84 Bay Cellars was a solid hit this Quail Run was extra bases all the way. From my favorite 90’s vintage this wine was obviously more youthful than the Bay Cellars and way more layered & complex. Still very old school Napa, nothing reminiscent of any aspect of a current Cult Cab. Melinda got this bottle from the wife of a doctor I have operated on, I’d guess they knew this was the good stuff! He has a deep cellar with a ton of old Monterey/Santa Cruz stuff as he grew up out there.

Again can’t find much about this producer or vineyard. Wine rocked as hard as the label art! Perfect cork, very vibrant and characteristic Cab Sav fruit with barely perceptible tannins now. Sweet finish that was longer than anticipated, hope one day I find some more.

Ok, if you can stretch it a bit (to Alexander Valley), the 1986 Gan Eden is a fantastic wine. They produced wine in many vintages, but this is the sole vintage I have had that was truly outstanding.

I still miss Inglenook Charbono


We had another 1984 Bay Cellars this week from the same lot but I had the bottle upright 3 weeks before we popped this cork. Much better showing with more dense fruit while still showing a light red profile. This cork was easily pulled and minimally stained. Again this bottle did not fall apart with airtime, buy without hesitation if they pop up on one of the auction sites.

A Manley wine indeed.

I hadn’t seen this thread before. If you’re willing to expand beyond Napa, I have one bottle of 1978 Obester Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino that I probably should have drunk years ago. Obester had been Gemello and is now La Nebbia. Would that count?

Hey Glenn…here’s a lifetime supply!


Shhhh, let’s let the prices fall a week or two. I paid $20/btl for these last year.

Hey Glenn; Gonna pop one of the '78 Santa Cruz Mountain cabs that we purchased from our “dinner” cellar. It is for one of the girl’s 33rd BD and I am running out of '78s to try. [wow.gif]

I will let you know!

Marshall [cheers.gif]