TN: 2002 Arns Napa Cab

This is the Napa bottling, not the Estate.

Popped and tasted and then let sit for 2 hours before drinking with dinner. Initially showed lots of red fruit surrounded by a fair amount of tannin and bright acidity. Also a good amount of clove. With more time, some darker fruit flavors showed up, but still in the red spectrum and the tannins were still very drying on the finish.

I last had a bottle of this 2 years ago and could tell at the time that it needed at least 2 years before I opened another one. I’d say from this bottle that I undershot that timeframe, as this wine is drinking better than the last one, but still needs years more before really showing what it can.

I like the wine, but Arns wines are definitely not made for early drinking, if you can call 7 years after the vintage early.

Great note. I have had Arns a few times and remember enjoying them as well. Not on many peoples radar though.

Thanks for the note.

Bruce and Mike; Absolutely one of my favorite producers and I am always amazed that they do not get more love from the Wine Boards. These are wonderful, mountain wines that need at least 10 years (and can handle even) more to show their stuff. In these crazy Napa pricing days…I even consider them a relative bargain. In addition, Sandi and John are among the nicest people in the Valley.


Completley agree. I’ve had the pleasure of dining with them a couple of years in a row now thanks to Lou and BettyLu Kessler.

The Arns Estate bottling has consistently been one of my favorite cabs since their first release in '92. In my mind, their '93 was one of the wines from that difficult vintage. What I really like about their wines is their restraint and the purity of the black currant fruit, which, imo, is the signature of that wine.



I agree that Sandi and John are really nice people, and their Cabs are excellent. Fortunate to have started buying their stuff a few years ago. Now have a vertical of multiple bottles of their Estate Cab back to 2000. Wife and I stopped by there in February for a tasting and Sandi gave us the rest of the bottle for dinner (it was our anniversary). Gave her a bottle of stuff we produce at Crushpad.

May break out a couple of bottles of 2000 Arns Estate for dinner guests on New Year’s Eve. Will post TN if I do.

Thanks for the note about the 2002 Napa. Will need to decant a long time.

Brad; Greetings!!! Completely agree with your assessment…they do NOT make an over the top, super flamboyant wine that garners huge points. Their wines are well balanced, restrained and food friendly. My only quibble is I think they made a couple of vintages prior to '92. I will have to check that out.

I will be seeing Lou and BL a couple of times during the holiday season.

Marshall [cheers.gif]

Hope you guys are well, Marshall and that you make it back to the East before too long, though, who knows? Maybe I’ll make a trip to LA in '10.

Pretty sure the '92 was their first. I was working at Garnet Wine & Liquor back in '96 and we had both the '92 and '93 in stock at the time and I had the whole story explained to me and I ended up buying a bunch of both vintages. I remember with their '94 they got a blurb in wineries to watch in the Spectator’s big Cab issue.



The ageability is why I have kept my hands off of the bottles of the 2002 estate bottles that are in the cellar, except the one I tried when it was very young. It showed great potential but obvious need for age.

Bruce; Personally, I wouldn’t even drink the 2002 Estate till 2012 at minimum. I am still holding some bottles from 1993…I really enjoy aged cabernet and believe the style of the Arns allows a long, slow development. Over the years, I see myself as a bit of a dinosaur since most of my friends enjoy wines younger and fruitier. As to the '02, I believe the vintage lends itself to relatively early consumption. I would still do a significant decant if you are going to drink these relatively soon…although even the Napa, as you noted previously, can use more time.

By the way, the recent vintages of 2005, 2006, and 2007 are all worth purchasing! [wink.gif]

Marshall [cheers.gif]