Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

I opened this half bottle from the cellar to enjoy with a grilled steak, baked potato and steamed snow peas for which it was a perfect complement. It was consistent with my earlier tasting notes but this time I gave it a slightly better rating. This is interesting given this was from a half bottle which would tend to age less gracefully than a standard size. My recent blogpost about bottle sizes and their effect on aging. As noted, the half bottle (375 ml) was ideal for occasions such as tonight when I was the only person drinking wine with dinner. Also, note that Grgich features large format bottles in magnum, three (double magnum), five and six liters, in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon on their website from recent vintages dating back to 2005. This is worth checking out if you have one a key fun celebration event or a commemorative year you'll want to celebrate down the road. 

Grgich and its heritage is a Napa classic that gets overlooked in all the hype and some of the sensationalism of some of the newer labels. Mike Grgich is a legend in Napa Valley. He helped put Napa Valley wines on the map as the when the  1976 Chardonnay he crafted for Chateau Montelena beat the very best wines in France in a now famous blind tasting in Paris. This event was memorialized in the wonderful book "Judgement of Paris" and the entertaining movie "Bottle Shock". This tasting is a simple testament to the longevity of this label. Grich Hills winery reflects Napa as it was in the eighties (or even seventies) as opposed to the glitz of the millenium.

There was no sign of diminution from age in this seventeen year old Napa cab.

Slightly opaque garnet color, medium bodied, this exhibited moderate nose with flavors of dark berry fruit, a slight cherry tartness detracts from the fruit somewhat, there are hints of cedar and herb on the moderate tannin finish.

RM 87 points.