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  Was 2007 a good year for cabs? How long should my purchases sit?

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Author Topic:   Was 2007 a good year for cabs? How long should my purchases sit?
RichardSE
Member
posted 02-19-2012 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
I have never tried Frazier. I guess I have another to add my list. I was going to go to J. Gregory last year, but it didn't make the cut, but we will be planning to visit there this year.

It looks like you have a good selection for Howell Mountain. Robert Craig is very good but they don't taste at their winery. Their tasting room is in Napa and their cabs are very good.

The biggest problem with wine club memberships for those of us in Hawaii is the shipping cost. If you can get a wine here, it will be a lot cheaper than getting it as a wine club shipment. Not only that, but my cellar is full until the renovation is finished.

I agree with you about the pleasures of wine. We've been pretty lucky meeting some interesting people.

IP: 75.85.130.54

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-18-2012 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Richard,

Have you tried Frazier? It is on the south end of the Silverado Trail. I have had one of their Cabs that was quite good. Just ordered their new releases, the 2008 Frazier Cab and their 2008 Momento which is a blend of the best blocks of Cab grapes in the vineyard.

You might also want to check J. Gregory, a new label created by Mark and Kandice Jessup (He was the former owner of Jessup Cellars and the winemaker). We had a bottle of their 2006 Cab for Valentine's day dinner and it garnered a BIG WOW from both of us. I believe they are still doing tastings in their home but if you trust me, order a couple bottles. They have a 2005, 06, 07 and an 09. They did not do an 08. http://www.jgregorywines.com/

I am planning another Howell Mountain day in October and will certainly put Neal Family on the list. Probably Black Sears, Outpost, Neal, O'Shaughnessy, Ladera, and maybe a stop at Burgess if we have time. Also, Bremer Family had a very good Merlot. This would make a GREAT day.

If you are going through St. Helena, just off the main drag is SALON St. Helena, the tasting room for Harris and Jones wineries. Some great Cabs here. Thomas rivers Brown is the winemaker for both.

Mr. Hawkeye just asked me the other day how many wine clubs we belong to. I think I kind of hedged and maybe did not give her a straight answer. I think she was trying to figure out a way to slide in another clothes shopping spree. Damombo told me to buy her a chocolate shake and see if that would make her happy.

Some of the pleasure of wine is the planning trips and the anticipation of the tastings. Another part is the personal contacts that you make with the owners and tasting room hosts.

Too many wines to taste and not enough time (or money) to do it!

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

RichardSE
Member
posted 02-18-2012 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Hawkeye,

Ladera is my favorite new winery. I prefer the Howell Mountain cab, but the Lone Canyon Cab is exception, especially if you can get it "pre aged" and the staff is great. If you don't get a response, let me know and I'll look up an email of my contact.

Last year, one of my wine friends and I had a guy's trip to napa and stopped at O'Shaughnessy. One of us almost joined, but I was at my limit of clubs (my wife says I have to drop one before I can join another) and he wasn't quite ready, but we did take back several bottles each.

I'll look out for Black Sears and Outpost, but it seems like I always have more on my list than slots in my days. Have you been to Neal Family? They also have some great cabs.

IP: 75.85.130.54

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-17-2012 06:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Richard,

We had Ladera Cab at a wine paring dinner here a couple years ago. When we went to Napa, we visited and purchased a couple bottles. They must have been good, I just checked my inventory and they were gone. I sent them an email about their sale but haven't heard back.

We joined O'Shaughnessy's wine club last year when we visited. We agree when we tasted, they need to be cellared for at least a couple years before opening. We haven't opened any yet but looking forward to it. They were pretty highly rated at 94 and 98 points.

On the same trip, we tasted at Arkenstone up on Howell Mt. What a sterile tasting environment. The owner hosted us and when she found out we were only going to purchase a couple bottles, she couldn't wait to get rid of us.

If you go up on Howell again, check out Black Sears and Outpost, both have Thomas Rivers Brown as winemaker. Some good Zin and Cab.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

RichardSE
Member
posted 02-16-2012 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
Ladera just released their 2007s, they normally barrell age them for 24 months followed by 24 months in the bottle, although the 07s will be part of the current releases until the fall/winter.

As an aside, they are having a special on their library Lone Canyon Cabs. I don't know if the special prices are on the website or if they were only provided to club members, but I picked up a case of the 2002 which I would definitely recommend.

We tasted O'Shaughnassy Cabs last fall and they were very good although they'll need some time in the bottle. We took several bottles home with us.

I'll ask about the Last Cab at Kellham.

[This message has been edited by RichardSE (edited 02-16-2012).]

IP: 108.59.136.30

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-13-2012 06:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Richard,

How long does Ladera cellar their wines before release? I had some Ladera in my cellar at one time. Guess I will have to go back up there and visit Ladera, Burgess, Black Sears, Outpost, and O'Shaughnessy at the same time. Maybe October since March is full.

At Kelham, we do the "Last Cab of the Day" tasting and have it scheduled for March. Along with their cab tasting, you get some little tidbits of food to go with them. Just checked their website and they no longer show it. The brothers, winemakers and owners (all the same) do the pouring.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

RichardSE
Member
posted 02-12-2012 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye,

And I thought that Ladera cellared their wines a while. Kelham is on my list for a visit this year.

[This message has been edited by RichardSE (edited 02-12-2012).]

IP: 75.85.130.54

RichardSE
Member
posted 02-12-2012 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye,

And I thought that Ladera cellared their wines a while. Kelham is on my list for a visit this year.

[This message has been edited by RichardSE (edited 02-12-2012).]

IP: 75.85.130.54

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-12-2012 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
At least one winery that we visit believes in laying down their cabernet for awhile before drinking. Kelham Winery on Zinfandel Lane in St. Helena do not release their wines until they are at least 8 years old after harvest. I think it was New Year's Eve that we had a bottle of their 2002 Estate Cab that we purchased last October. WOW, it was something special. I have one more bottle and will drink it within the next year for fear that it may go over the top. In March, we will go purchase the '03 vintage and maybe a couple more of the '02.

I know that in the next very few years we will not be abl;e to travel to the Valley to taste. In that light, I am trying to build some relationships with some of the smaller wineries that I like and when I want some wine I can call, say John, and ask, "John, you know my cabernet tastes, how about your 20??", and get a straight answer. I believe I have maybe 4 to 6 wineries that I can do that with right now.

Yesilovewine, this is one of the reasons that I like to make appointments a the small, family owned wineries, so I can build those relationships. I would like to get to the point that I can order wine from 6 to 8 wineries and have a pretty good idea what I will be getting. Just my opinion, and may be just worth what you paid for it. Go ahead and shoot.

-Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 02-12-2012).]

IP: 173.247.8.54

RichardSE
Member
posted 02-12-2012 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
I'm coming to the opinion that it's really hard to rate Napa vintages for quality. There is such a variety of conditions throughout Napa valley that you rarely can generalize about cabs in any particular year. For instance, just the differences from the conditions in the mountain and the conditions in the valley makes generalization difficult. In addition, there are all kinds of things you can do to adjust to conditions (at least if they're not extreme), that you can get good wine even if conditions are not ideal.

As far as aging, a lot depends on the wine. A lot of wine is made to be drunk earlier and earlier while others are made to be laid down for a while. You can get an idea from the winery or articles about when something is likely to be ready, but you'll probably have to drink some to tell.

I tend to hold a fair amount of my wines fairly long, but I also tend to buy wines that I believe will age pretty well. We opened a 01 and 02 Ladera Lone Canyon Cab a couple of days ago and both were very good, particularly the 02. I tasted the 07 at the winery last year and while drinkable, I will probably wait a few more years before I taste it again.

[This message has been edited by RichardSE (edited 02-12-2012).]

IP: 75.85.130.54

Kod
Member
posted 02-06-2012 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kod     Edit/Delete Message
thank you. My wines are resting comfortably in a perfect environment.

IP: 68.45.99.199

vsattuiwinery
Junior Member
posted 02-06-2012 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vsattuiwinery   Click Here to Email vsattuiwinery     Edit/Delete Message
VINTAGE 2007: A year of excellence!
The growing season of 2007 brought excellent fruit; however, not much of it. A drought in early spring produced smaller than usual berries which resulted in very light cluster weights indicating a crop load down by one-third. The good news is that these very small berries created a high juice-to-skin ratio. Since much of the wine’s flavor is born in the skins (fruit ripens from the outside in), the flavor intensity in this year’s wines is enormous.

Other than a brief hot spell in July, the season was pretty normal. A nice even temperature and slightly cooler conditions prevailed during August and September, which was followed by a warm—but not hot— Indian summer.

The harvest was the earliest we can remember. Everything came in before any serious rains.
In short we are very pleased with the year and we are really excited with the dramatically expanded fruit dimensions in our wines of 2007.

While many cabernet sauvignons age well over many years, most of course do not. A good rule of thumb for cabernets is to enjoy them in the 5-10 year (after vintage date) window.
That said, I’ve had many cabs from the ‘80s and early ‘90s over the past few years and most were still holding up or only slightly fading. The trick is to catch them on the upside rather the other side of the drinkability plateau, especially when you’ve spent part of the kids’ college fund to stock your cellar.

You don’t mention how the wines have been stored but, assuming they have been held optimally (cool, even temperature, dark environs), your 07 cabs should definitely be on the upside!

CHEERS!

IP: 75.147.128.109

loveswine
Junior Member
posted 01-24-2012 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for loveswine     Edit/Delete Message
Since I've recently joined, I thought I add to this although it's been on the site awhile. From what I've been hearing lately, about 5% of the wines are meant to be laid down now. So when you buy, ask each winery if it is meant to be aged and if so how long. We were at Joseph Phelps the other day and they recommended 5 to 7 years on one of the particular cabs we liked.

IP: 68.121.220.114

Kod
Member
posted 12-05-2011 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kod     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks. These 2 fellows were real collectors and the type not remotely concerned about the tasting fees. It was nice sampling some 30 year old French Bordeaux. But my guess is that they probably read about it somewhere. I agree and I actually have a real mixture of vintages.

IP: 68.45.99.199

Hawkeye
Member
posted 12-05-2011 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
WOW, you guys are up early! Good question, Kod! If you listen to Robert Parker who seems to be the proclaimed expert, 2007 was an outstanding year for Cabs. BUT WAIT . . . I have tasted some of RP's highly rated Cabs and honestly wouldn't give them space in my cooler. BUT THEN . . . I have tasted some of his highly rated wines that blew my mind!

THE REAL ANSWER . . . if you like a particular Cab, that would make it a good year whether it was 2007, 2005, 2009, or whatever. Your palate is the real answer.

As always, these are my opinions and may be worth exactly what you paid for them.

-Hawkeye

IP: 68.169.184.155

yesilovewine
Member
posted 12-05-2011 05:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hey kod.
You have met with one of the things that drives me crazy about wine..."who to believe". Whether or not 2007 was a good cab year is open for discussion....more "professional experts" seem to agree that it was a very good cab year than don't, but when you break it all down, its really only YOUR palate that matters. If you bought a number of '07s, then you must think it was a good year.
The other folks who disagreed at your event aren't wrong, per se, but they have a different opinion than most...it might be interesting to ask for their explanation of WHY they think that '07 wasn't a good cab year; they are certainly in a minority.
As far as how long to rest your wine after shipping, I've had questions about that as well and finally went to each of our club wineries to ask what they recommend for their wine. I can tell you that, generally speaking, 2 weeks seems to be the standard but some wines will do better with more. Since some wines are made to drink early, they may be more forgiving than an older wine, so asking the winery directly would definitely be in order, especially for your '07s.

IP: 71.65.250.120

Kod
Member
posted 12-04-2011 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kod     Edit/Delete Message
Ok all you wine experts, here are a couple more questions:. When I was visiting the wineries many proclaimed 2007 as having great weather and being a great year for Cabs. And I have to say that I bought quite a few 2007 Cabs. I recently was at a small dinner where everyone brought some good wines and we had some nice tastings. A couple of the guys who considered themselves experts proclaimed that 2007 was a bad year for Cabs and the Wine Spectator was wrong. Any opinions out there on this topic?

How long should I rest my purchases? I have had some different opinions on this topic. I know it depends on the wine and I am referring only to the Cabs I bought.

IP: 68.45.99.199

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