TN: ACV 1990 Cab (who says CA cab can't age nicely at good qpr?)

1990 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley (3/12/2015)
I must have had a truly good bottle, or a palate of a yak :wink: but, I opened one, PnP, and it was so enjoyable. Yes, the finish is shorter than other ACV’s I had before, but I would not say its past prime.

Back to the beginning: I read the notes on CT wrt '90 ACV and decided the only was to assert the condition of the two bottles is to open one. Cork- almost perfect condition (maybe among the best I saw for 20+ years CA cabs). Still has some of the fruit and ‘signature line’ of ACV. The finish is shorter than the '06 we had recently, and so is the palate (not as full, or as one of the tasters defined it- more ‘mild’) , but I would not say it goes ‘down’. It certainly though is not as impressive as the '93 (per the notes, I have one in the cellar that I’d need to open and compare). I enjoy the integration of the earthy tastes of the wine with the fruit. It is not a full nose as other ACV’s but it certainly one that is still enjoyable. That said, some of the younger ACV’s are more enjoyable (e.g. I had the '06 recently and we finished it in one night because it was so wonderful), and I saw other early 90’s CA cabs holding better, but actually- not too many held better.
So- for collectors, there is still value in holding. For ppl who simply enjoy good wine, drink and enjoy. And share. I would give it score above the current CT avg (which is at the time the notes is written 89.5, I’d probably would have said 91-92, but I begin hating this 100 pts scale ranking system.)

I don’t know that anyone says they can’t age nicely at a good QPR. It just seems like more attention is given to the latest $175 super-ripe Napa Cab that you should probably drink fast. But especially from 1990, 91, and 92, which may have been the peak of excellence in Napa and CA Cabs, some of those drink really well today.

I guess that’s a little extreme, but for me those are benchmark vintages. They took advantage of the ripe fruit that they can get in some parts of CA but they didn’t push it to be bigger and bolder. Had a 1992 Hobbs Carneros about two weeks ago and it was not only magnificent, it had plenty of life ahead. A few lower-priced producers that I’ve enoyed with 20+ years include Steltzner, Chateau Potelle (no longer in existence AFIK) and Laurel Glen.

Okay, update for day two- It is even better than day one. I guess it did nee some ‘decant’ time. Bigger nose, more balance, nice pepper background, and very enjoyable. Around the table one taster ranked the '90 above the '06. The other (me) ranked the '06 somewhat above the '90.

The decision was to open a '93 right away for comparison. First things first- cork is in decent shape but the '90 cork was better. Still saved. From PnP the '90 was better than the '93. But, we put it back to double decant and will check again tonight. Nice to have a mini vertical at home

I guess this means that I’m in no rush to drink my 06-07-08 ACV. [cheers.gif]

I guess the real answer is yes and no.
The '93 had undefined nose the first night, but when we let it stay in the bottle again overnight and opened it the following day it was singing. The '90 needed some time to open up as well (though not as long as the '93). I would say that the '90 and the '06 were both very good examples of a mature and young ACV, respectively. The '93 is clearly with ‘mature cab’ tastes, but imho needs something (more time, more decanting?)

I would have actually had again the '90 near the '06 just to compare my immediate impression in lieu of memory and/or notes. [cheers.gif]

We just loved the 1993 last night, all you could want from a classic California Cabernet. Fruit vibrant: tart & sweet boxing in 16 oz gloves while the tannins refereed with a stern vision. Real length, just exquisite. We had a semi-tired 94 from this same estate purchase so I didn’t have great expectations here but as soon as I pulled the cork I knew we were home.

Many early-1990’s California reds are in a wide plateau of maturity, and face a gently shallow slope when eventually over the hill.

ACV aged very well from this era. I finished up the 91’s only a few years ago and they were still very good. I think their proportions & balance is what let them keep shining for so long. An estate for the Bordeaux enthusiast indeed.

I also had some 91s in the last year or two. Terrific bottles. This 93 was every bit as good as the best of those 1991 ACV Cabs.

I miss the old label.

How is their Prologue bottling? I’ve seen it around, but have never tried one.

“as soon as I pulled the cork I knew we were home.”

Glenn - I smiled when I read this - I love when that happens. Well said!


California appellation and non-estate fruit. I think you can do better for the coin.

I was happy to see this one coming back from deep under. Over the last 18 months or so, we finished all the '93 ACV we had (the first one compared in post #1, and the second one @ Dan’s pizza tasting). I do have another '90 that I should open soon. I have a '88 which I presume (given CT) that it may be well post its prime but I may open it one day. Rather than that, my records show a '92 and '97 in storage. Need to verify that.

Corrupted by WB again - I found the 93 for $45 at The Chicago Wine Company and bought a few last night. There are more left if anyone wants to reload.

That is a great price.