2003 Cali Cab Vintage - Printable Version

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- oostexan - 06-12-2006

Hey guys, can you tell me your experiences and what you have heard about the quality of the Napa 2003 Cali Cab vintage? I just went to wine country a couple months ago, but did not taste a lot of Cabernet. The few bottles that I have tried were all very good, but it seems like I heard that 03 was going to be a down year overall. I am wondering if I have just been tasting wine that has been uncharacteristic of the year.

What are your collective experiences or thoughts? How about for 2004?

- winoweenie - 06-13-2006

Sorry Oos but I haven't had hardly any experience with the 03s. As may be perceived I normally don't get into a vintage until after it hits its' 5th birthday. I pay absolutely no attention to what the "experts" say about Calif vintages. I know the wineries on my "must-buy" list produce good juice every year.WW

- oostexan - 06-13-2006

WW, I am slowly starting to fall into that strategy, as I get more experienced. The '03's that I have sampled are all from my favorite wineries so far as I have not done the "Napa tasting circuit" this year. Typically, that would give me a good feel for the across the board quality of the vintage. Maybe I should not even care anymore as I find myself buying from a certain group of producers (Pine Ridge, Plumpjack, Provenance, Phelps, and now Robert Craig, etc.) every year.

WW, are you saying that you do not even taste a given vintage year before you buy a case or so? Not even one bottle?

Its an interesting prespective WW, thanks!

- winoweenie - 06-13-2006

I do occassionally taste some of the new vintages when they're offered at me local pushers but have found it really isn't necessary as I've never been dissapointed when the lil' suckers come of age. Outside of the normal 10-12 any others are goverened by the " Show me the Quality " taste test review. The mailing list wines I never worry about as I've followed them since before Bucko could spell tannin. WW [img][/img]

- oostexan - 06-13-2006

OK WW, you knew this was coming, but its time to open up the komona:

Who are the 10 to 12?

The envelope please....I wait with baited breath. :-)

- brappy - 06-13-2006

Interesting conversation..... but WW has a big list to choose from. Oos... you may also; I don't. I like to taste before I buy; doesn't always happen, but i like to......

- oostexan - 06-13-2006

Brappy, I have considered myself to be like you in the past - I need to taste it to buy it, for the most part. But WW's post has gotten me to realize that, at the end of the day, I end up buying certain wineries over and over. I try them every year, I like them (some vintages more than others), and I buy them. Maybe I have been a willing accomplice to WW's buying strategy and did not even realize it.

What happens to me, in retrospect, is that when I venture too far off of what I know that I like (like picking up an impulse purchase because its pretty good and a bargain), I do not treasure the wines like I do on my preferred producers.

This has me thinking....getting better at buying wine is something I have as a priority. Especially since I am running out of room in my cellar, and I look at several bottles and think I could do without them.

- winoweenie - 06-14-2006

Oos I'm reluctant to do this as it may seem as if I'm pimping for the old guard but I've found that, just as in Bordeaux, there are definately differences in the quality of the wines produced. Call 'em growths, leaders, or what-ever, it is just as prevalent in Calif as the old world. Caymus Napa & Special Selection, Duckhorn, B.V. Private Reserve, Beringer Pvt. Reserve, Flora Springs Hillside and Trilogy, Pride, Pahlmeyer, All 3 Robert Craig releases, Ch. Montelena, Heitz Marthas', Shafer Hillside and Viador. I consider these the 1st growths of Napa. I've dropped several of the great wines from my cellar because of the exhorbitant pricing IMHO.( Diamond Creek, Grace Family, Stags Leap Cask 23, Araujo, Bryant Family, and Dalle Valle Maya)
My favorites in the 2nd thru 5th areas are normally the Usual suspects. I've pared my mailing list wines down from a high of 37 at one time to 4 now. (Dehlinger, Scherrer,
Santa Cruz Mtn, and Joseph Swan.) The only =reason is that none of these are available
locally. The wines I normally buy for daily use or for gifts,kids,or leather-tongued doctors, are the ones tasted at our local pushers jernt. All of the great P/Q dudies are discovered there during our tri-weekly brain-tester meetings. This is far longer than I meant it to be. Hope it isn't too boring. WW

- wondersofwine - 06-14-2006

WW on wine--not boring.
The selection in the Finger Lakes included Etude and Markham. Do you buy those with some regularity?

- winoweenie - 06-15-2006

The Markham is on the lesser growth list. One of the wines I forgot in the long dissertation was the Phelps Insignia. There are probably one or two others as it seems the memory is the 2nd thing to go. WW [img][/img]

- Kcwhippet - 06-15-2006

The Lewelling Cabs are ones we get every year without fail. I have never been disappointed in the quality, regardless of the vintage and what others (like JL) have said about it.

- TheEngineer - 06-15-2006

Yesterday I was able to taste a bunch of the 2003's (Terra Valentine, Whitehall Lane, Chimney Rock, etc,...) and they were all very very good. They stood tall beside their 2002 Brothers. The 1998's though look to be not holding up as well though. The ones we had were nice (the 1998 SLV, etc) but still they appeared to be well along their way. Not a Napa Cab expert by any stretch, just impressions after a few verticals.

- winoweenie - 06-16-2006

To add to Engs' remarks I just checked and only cellared 7 09 Calif cabs, by far the lowest amount since the disastorous 72 vintage. Have just started buying the 03s. WW

- Innkeeper - 06-16-2006

Don't expect to have any '09s in my cellar until '11 or '12.

- winoweenie - 06-16-2006

As usual the weeners fingers dint' hit what the mind were thinkin'. Make that the 1998s. WW