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08.14.2007

Top 2004 Napa Cabernet: Tasting at the Napa Wine Library

There are very few times during the year when the ordinary public has an opportunity to taste a large cross section of the wines from Napa, and most of those occasions are quite expensive. One of the least expensive, and most pleasant is the Napa Valley Wine Library tasting, which took place this past Sunday on the grounds of the Silverado Resort and Country Club in Napa.

The Napa Wine Library is http://www.vinography.com/archives/images/napa_wine_library_07-thumb.jpgjust that: a library about wine, which provides the public, as well as its supporting members, access to a significant collection of books and literature about all things wine. Housed in the St. Helena public library, and maintained by donations and dues from members, the Wine Library is a unique resource for Napa Residents. They also happen to put on several events every year for their members, one of which is an annual tasting of wines around a certain theme. This year was Cabernet and it's related varietals, so spread beneath the old oaks in the middle of the Silverado golf course, over 100 Napa wineries poured their most recent release of Cabernet (or occasionally other varietals) to an appreciative crowd.

Apart from the fact that the crackers and bread ran out well in advance of the cheese supply, one could hardly ask for a better wine tasting afternoon. The weather was perfect (though some wineries who happened to be caught in the rays of the afternoon sun had their bottled heating up rather quickly), and the vibe was mellow, with mostly winery owners or winemakers doing the pouring.

Maybe it was the library focus, or maybe it was the country club, but the crowd skewed significantly older than pretty much any other public tasting I've been to in some time. There was a lot of white hair in the sea of enthusiastic wine lovers.

Unfortunately the tasting only lasted two hours, which was pretty tight for someone who wanted to taste all 130 or so wines, but I did my best. A few wineries ran out before I got there, but I did manage to taste nearly everything, so enjoy my notes below.


WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2004 Blackbird Vineyards Merlot, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $80
2004 Ehlers Estate "1886" Bordeaux Blend, St. Helena, Napa. $75
2004 Lang & Reed "Right Bank" Bordeaux Blend, Napa. $80
2004 Neal Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa. $90
2004 Robert Foley Vineyards "Claret" Bordeaux Blend, Napa. $130

WINES SCORING BETWEEN 9 and 9.5
2004 Calafia Cellars "Calafia" Bordeaux Blend, St. Helena, Napa. $40
2004 Carter Cellars Merlot, Napa. $95
2003 Corison "Kronos Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $98
2004 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $75
2004 Grgich Hills Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa. $135
2003 Hartwell Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $115
2004 HdV Wines "La Belle Cousin" Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, Napa. $60
2004 Jocelyn Lonen "Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $60
2004 Jocelyn Lonen "Founder's Blend" Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $85
2001 Moss Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $75
2004 Pina Cellars "Buckeye Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa. $72
2004 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $66
2005 Reverie on Diamond Mountain Cabernet Franc, Diamond Mountain, Napa. $60
2004 Spottswoode Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $110
2002 Spring Mountain Vineyards "Elivette" Bordeaux Blend, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $90
2004 Vin Roc Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $90
2004 Vinoce Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, Napa. $60


WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2005 Barnett Vineyards Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $45
2004 Bialla Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $93
2004 Cain Vineyard and Winery "Concept" Bordeaux Blend, Napa. $60
2006 Casa Nuestra Rosado of Cabernet and Merlot, St. Helena, Napa. $23
2004 Casa Nuestra Meritage, St. Helena, Napa. $45
2004 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga (pending), Napa. $45
2004 Crane Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $44
2004 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $74
2002 Elan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $50
2004 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $50
2005 Heitz Wine Cellars Petite Verdot, St. Helena, Napa. $35
2004 Hendry "Hendry Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Tulocay, Napa. $55
2004 Jocelyn Lonen Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $35
2004 Miner Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa. $65
2004 Moss Creek Cabernet Franc, Napa. $36
2004 Newton Vineyards "The Puzzle" Bordeaux Blend, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $70
2003 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $75
2004 Saddleback Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $52
2004 Shafer Vineyards "One Pont Five" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $65
2003 Spring Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $80
2003 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $40
2004 Swanson Vineyards and Winery "Alexis" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa. $75
2004 Tres Sabores Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa. $56
2003 White Rock Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $52
2003 Whitehall Lane "Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $75


WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8.5 and 9
2004 Baldacci Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $35
2004 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $65
2002 Bighorn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Tulocay, Napa. $40
2002 Broman Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $48
2004 Burgess Cellars Bordeaux Blend, Napa. $30
2004 Casa Nuestra Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $55
2005 Casa Nuestra Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $55
2004 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa. $26
2003 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $62
2004 Cloud View Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $65
2004 Cuvaison Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, Napa. $45
2004 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $60
2005 Envy Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $80
2004 Hall Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $40
2004 Keenan Cabernet Franc, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $50
2004 Monticello Vineyards "State Lane Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa. $55
2003 Monticello Vineyards "Corley Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa. $55
2004 O'Brien Estate "Seduction Blend" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $35
2005 Reverie on Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain, Napa. $50
2004 Robert Sinskey "Vandal Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, Napa. $40
2003 Rocca Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa. $75
2004 Rombauer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $36
2004 Saddleback Cellars Merlot, Napa. $36
2003 Terra Valentine "Marriage" Bordeaux Blend, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $75
2004 White Cottage Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa. $65

WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2004 Arns Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $75
2002 Astrale e Terra "Arcturus" Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa. $39
2004 Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $36
2003 Ceja Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $40
2004 Chateau Potelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, Napa. $60
2003 Crane Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $44
2003 Fife Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District, Napa. $50
2004 Frazier Cabernet Sauvignon, Tulocay, Napa. $55
2004 Gustavo Thrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa. $45
2001 Judd's Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap District, Napa. $75
2004 Lamborn Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa. $85
2001 Madonna Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, Napa. $34
2003 Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa. $58
2003 Robert Pecota "Kara's Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga (pending), Napa. $40
2004 Seavey Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $85
2004 Seps Estate, Storybook Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga (pending), Napa. $65
2004 St. Clement Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $35
2004 Sullivan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa. $100
2004 The Terraces Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa. $48
2004 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, Napa. $35
2003 Vincent Arroyo Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga (pending), Napa. $50
2004 ZD Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $50


WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8 and 8.5
2004 Folie á Deux Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $20
2004 Freemark Abbey "Bouschet Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa. $65
2003 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $39
2004 Oakville Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa. $60
2004 Signorello Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Tulocay, Napa. $45
2004 Trinchero Family Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $40
2004 Venge Vineyards Merlot, Oakville, Napa. $46


WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8 or BELOW
2005 Boyd Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $34
2004 Hope and Grace Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $48
2000 Madonna Estate "Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Carneros, Napa. $45
2004 Markham Vineyards Merlot, Napa. $26
2005 Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa. $25
2005 Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $15
2005 Snowden Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. $65
2004 Summers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga (pending), Napa. $45
2004 Trefethen Vineyards and Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $45
2004 Trefethen Vineyards and Winery Cabernet Franc, Oak Knoll District, Napa. $35
2004 Wing Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, Napa. $45
2004 V. Sattui "Morisoli Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa. $55

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