We’re putting the final touches on our annual Cabernet report, which will appear in the Nov. 15 issue of the magazine. To produce this report, we’ve tasted more than 600 wines (many twice) in the past year, and nearly 100 more for retrospective tastings of older vintages.
I’ve also done informal tastings of scores of Cabernets from a wide mix of appellations and vintages. This method gives me time to reflect on the wines, whether I'm tasting them blind or I know exactly what I'm drinking.
We also try to review wines as soon as they're available to us, and many of those reviews appear in our regular Tasting Highlights features and our Insider weekly reports. (For 25 top California Cabernets, check out this week's Insider.)
The lion’s share of reviews this fall will be from the 2004 vintage, which is clearly two steps up from 2003. The ‘04s are riper, more elegant and better balanced than the ‘03s, which were uniformly more austere, tannic and drying. But the ‘04s are not as ripe as the ripest 2002s—yet another sign that winemakers are pulling back a bit on the amount of time they allow the grapes to stay on the vines. Whether that’s deliberate or a function of the vintage is often hard to tell at this stage.
Because vintages from California always overlap, we had plenty of opportunities to compare the two years, as we had more than 100 2003s compared to nearly 360 2004s.
We also had a sprinkling of 2005s, but I think it’s a little early to be selling or tasting wines from this vintage; some of the big-name wines taste green and tight. I’m a little surprised some wineries are so eager to put the 2005s on the market.
So while we’ll have reviews of some of the newly released 2005s, I’m going to give a few of the wines a little more time in the bottle before I write my scores and tasting notes.
Peter Czyryca — August 8, 2007 8:36pm ET
Douglas Kisby — August 8, 2007 11:39pm ET
Quicksilver Rose — San Diego, CA — August 9, 2007 12:01am ET
Richard Horvath — August 9, 2007 1:44am ET
Craig Phillips — Pasadena, CA — August 9, 2007 3:09am ET
Robert Caruana Jr — East Islip, NY — August 9, 2007 7:43am ET
Thomas Kobylarz — Hoboken, NJ — August 9, 2007 12:07pm ET
Brandon Redman — Seattle, WA — August 9, 2007 12:14pm ET
Maryann Worobiec — Napa, CA — August 9, 2007 12:32pm ET
David A Zajac — August 9, 2007 1:37pm ET
Mike Vessa — East Williston,NY — August 9, 2007 2:16pm ET
Trey Rolofson — Overland Park, KS — August 12, 2007 4:33pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — August 14, 2007 4:53pm ET
James Zalenka — Pittsburgh PA — August 15, 2007 10:03am ET
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