Favorite Cabs of 2004? - Printable Version

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- joeyz6 - 12-10-2004

Now that we're approaching the end of the year, what are everybody's favorite California Cabs they had in 2004? Good values, small cult producers, old favorites, whatever. Having spent a few months working in Napa, I'm very interested in Cab for the first time and curious as to what people are liking right now.

I'll post my own list a little later. I'm going to look over my tasting notes first.

(Since I worked at Mayacamas I won't include ours, but the '78, '92 & '95 Cabs were three of the best wines I've ever had. The '91 wasn't far behind, and in a few years the '99 might be up there too)

- Innkeeper - 12-10-2004

Well California Cabernet is not as big a part of my life as it is for WW. Some of the best we enjoyed this year was during out January trip out there. These included ‘99s from Galante (Carmel Valley) and Smith and Hook (Santa Lucia Highland) in the Monterey/Carmel area. At home we popped a couple of Tobin James’ ‘98s including their Private Stash (a Meritage) and Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. We also enjoyed several “journeyman” cabs from CA including Tobin James, Paso Robles, Legend; Monterra, Monterey; Chateau Julien, Monterey; and the last of the $4 find of Roberto’s, the ’00 Crow Canyon, California.

At the Finger Lakes get together, we sampled many bottles of great '94 Napa Valley stuff that WW brought along. Research that thread on the Talk to your Moderators for details.

- newsguy - 12-10-2004

good topic, joey. i quickly put together a list of my favorite 10 wines i've tasted this year, new or old (at least, what i could remember at the spur of the moment and not having acess to all my TNs). then as i went to post them, i noticed that you asked for just cabs. that cut my list in half, but here they are:

96 Flora Springs St. Rutherford
01 Neal Family Napa Valley
98 Miner Family Oakville
94 Gallo Sonoma Barrelli Creek
94 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County

[This message has been edited by newsguy (edited 12-10-2004).]

- joeyz6 - 12-10-2004

Good idea, Newsguy, I'll start a thread for people's Top 10 overall of 2004 in another forum.

- Bucko - 12-10-2004

The 78 Mayacamas is a classic. I had it out of magnum in 98 -- still had life.

AFA my favorite new release Cabs:

2000 Altamura, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
2001 Robert Karl, Claret, Columbia Valley, Washington
2001 Patit Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, Washington
2001 Beaulieu, Dulcet Reserve, Napa Valley, California

That's about it. Cab doesn't ring my chimes like it used to -- overpriced, overoaked and underwhelming.

- Glass_A_Day - 12-10-2004

2001 Viader
1999 Far Niente
2001 Justin
1994 Caymus SS
1995 Caymus SS
1997 Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages

- joeyz6 - 12-11-2004

Here's my own list (more or less in order of preference):

2001 ZD Reserve Napa
2001 Duckhorn Monitor Ledge Vineyard
2001 Cosentino Napa (partly because it's a relatively good value at $38)
2001 Cosentino Napa Reserve close behind
2001 Pine Ridge Stags' Leap
2001 La Jota Anniversary
1999 Paradigm
2000 Shafer Hillside Select (needs a lot of time though)
1994 Mondavi Reserve
2001 Opus One (WAY overpriced, however, as are most of these wines)
2001 Whitehall Lane
2000 Rubicon
1999 Cardinale
2002 Storybook Mtn. Seps Claret
2001 Chateau Souverain (good value!)

- wondersofwine - 12-13-2004

Interesting about the ZD. I tasted both 2001 ZD Cabernet Sauvignon and the Reserve at a "barrel sampling" in 2003 and liked both. Because of the difference in price, I ordered two bottles of the regular--not the Reserve.

My favorite '94's from WW's contributions to our Finger Lakes offline were
1. Beaulieu Georges de Latour Private Reserve (do I have the name right),
2.Caymus Special Selection,
3. Markham
4. Gallo Frei Brothers
5. Hess Collection
Other than that I liked a California blended wine, Emeritus Cathedral Red, and purchased a bottle but haven't opened it yet. Most of my collection of Cabs are rather young to be opening but I do have a couple from Simi and one from Sequoia Grove that I may open soon.

- joeyz6 - 12-15-2004

Wonders, I liked the regular bottling a lot as well, and I probably also would have chosen that one if I was buying. The reserve is one of so many overpriced Cali Cabs, it's something like $115.