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On Wine: Napa Cabernets

By: Laurie Daniel

The 2007 vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was considered by many to be among the best ever.  It garnered a 99 on the Wine Spectator's 100 point scale.  When a vintage gets that kind of glowing press, the vintages on either side of it tend to fall a bit by the wayside: 2006 and 2008 are considered good, but mixed bags.

The recent Premiere Napa Valley trade tasting and auction provided opportunities to taste all three vintages.  In addition to a blind tasting of the three vintages from a dozen wineries, held by the Napa Valley Vintners, smaller Napa appellations held numerous open houses and tastings during the two days before the auction.

After scores of wines, I'm not climbing on the 2007 vintage bandwagon.  If you love bog, ripe, bold Napa Valley cab, its probably the vintage for you.  I prefer wines that are a little lighter on their feet.

Which brings me to the 2008 vintage.  Spring frost greatly reduced the size of the crop, but the weather was very good during harvest, and that small cop got quite ripe.  I was surprised to find that several tasty 2008s at the Napa Valley Vintners' tasting weighed in at 15 percent alcohol or more.  But the wines have good acidity, and you can get away with alot of ripeness if there's sufficient acidity to give the wine liveliness and keep it from tasting heavy.........

Tasting Notes

.......The 2008 Bennett Lane Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) is plenty ripe, but also displays an intriguing aroma of violets. (Bennett Lane also produces the 2008 Turn 4 Cabernet Sauvignon, $20, a well-priced cab with bright black cherry, a hint of dill and firm tannins.).....

Welcome to Bennett Lane Winery  - Home of 36 90+ Point Wines from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


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