“Golden Age” California Cabernets!

1/7/13 -

It’s easy to forget when looking at some of today’s high alcohol, high scoring, high priced California Cabernets that Napa built its reputation making restrained, Bordeaux-styled wines. These mature, beautifully developed wines are some of our favorite old bottles to open and have aged as well as Bordeaux from the same era.  Vintages like 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1985 are justifiably known as great but Napa’s sunny climate means that even less heralded vintages like 1980, 1983, and 1989 produced classic wines that have held up well. We tried Robert Mondavi 1986 Napa and Reserve Cabernets last week; the Napa was a bit lighter and more ethereal, the Reserve more powerful and rich, but both—from a vintage usually forgotten, coming between the great 1985s and 1987s—were absolute pleasures to drink.

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