Friday, December 25, 2009

Napa Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979

I've had many fine Napa Cabernets from the mid- to late-1970s, but this is perhaps my favorite. Although many California Cabs of this era were huge and powerful, this wine has always stood out for its elegance. And at 30 years of age, it is still shining brightly.

The color is a light ruby--light but bright with no browning and very little amber. The nose is typical Napa Cab--currants, cassis, cherries nicely focused. And it sits lightly on the tongue with a slight spicy note on the mid-palate. Reminds me of a St. Julien. This wine has never aspired to be a show wine and today it is just as self assured in its elegance. It's lighter in color and body than it was the last time I had it (perhaps a decade or more ago), but it's every bit as enjoyable.


  1. I'm just curious (and haven't been around long enough to have spotted a clear pattern) -- why do you sometimes include prices but not always? Your blog name and focus kinda suggests to me that price would be pertinent...

  2. Price has always been pertinent to me, but I don't have any cutoff point. A budget Burgundy may well cost $20 to $30 but still be an excellent value. I also buy wines that are expensive at regular price (Vincent Girardin's Emotion de Terroir at $25) but marked down to meet my budget ($9.99).

    As for the Napa Cellars, it was $13.75 when I bought it in the early 1980s. That was a pretty good value for a Napa Cab at that time. Burgess Cellars and Conn Creek were about the same price but Chateau Montelena was $18 to $20. If I had not been budget-oriented, I would glady be drinking 1979 Montelena today. It is a very fine wine. My Burgess Cellars and Conn Creek Cabs are all gone, but I am happy enough with the way the Napa Cellars has aged.

    I'm pretty sure this is not the same Napa Cellars that is on the market today. I have not researched the history of this label.