This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

May 28, 2024

Old Napa cabs

Dinner at The Merchants.

1985 Silver Oak Alexander Valley - pop and poured. Still pretty fresh and lively. The nose was very minty, smoky, with lot of cedar, and really sweet, with beautiful notes of tobacco. Acidity was slightly on the high side on the palate. My wine of the evening.

1976 Silver Oak Alexander Valley - this was more mature and more developed compared to the 1985. Nose of stewed fruit, still got the sweetness on the nose, but this has started to develop savory notes like black olives. The nose was still pretty fragrant but the palate wasn't as good as the 1985, with pretty high acidity. The nose had a little more vanilla, and oxidized like old Madeira.

1974 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché - the nose was showing a little game and leather on the edges, with a hint of savory olive, a little bit of smoke, and nice fruity notes. The palate was on the savory side.

1976 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve - served about 1½ hours after double-decanting, which was much later than anticipated. This was a decent showing for the wine, very soft on the palate, niced aged, with a nose that was oxidized and on the savory side. Some 3 hours after decanting the nose was still showing OK, and 4 hours after decanting the nose was pretty savory by then.

1977 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon - this was fresher and cleaner on the nose, with more sweetness. There was a little more body on this wine compared to the 1976, and then also started to show savory notes. More than 3½ hours after opening the nose was showing plenty of savory soy sauce, which was pretty nice.

1970 Heitz Martha's Vineyard - served some 45 minutes after opening. The nose showed nice and ripe fruit, with leather and also nice smoky notes. My third favorite wine of the night.

1976 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - served about 1½ hours after opening. The nose was a little more green than the other wines, but not in a bad way. Pretty open and fragrant nose showing woodsy notes. Really showing nicely some 3 hours after opening, with a bit of sweet grass and almost floral notes. My second favorite wine of the evening.

1984 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - drank about 1 hour and 15 minutes after opening. This was really nice after about 2 hours, showing some sweet fruit on the nose.

1985 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - drank about 1 hour and 15 minutes after opening. The nose was bigger than the 1984, with more savory notes, but still showed a good amount of sweet fruit.

1986 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill - drank about 1½ hours after opening. The nose was nice and woodsy, showing a bit of savory profile. The wine was drinking really nicely some 3½ hours after opening.

Full post on dinner is here.

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