Cabernet Sauvignons that hit the 10-year mark in excellent condition are good candidates for aging another decade. That’s the case with Whitehall Lane’s 1999 Napa Valley Reserve. It's still dark-colored, ripe and supple, with spicy plum, blackberry and anise flavors that are pure, rich and elegant, ending with a long persistent finish.
I enjoyed this wine with friends during a recent football weekend over pulled pork and coleslaw salad. It drank well and held on over time. I’ve drunk this wine on several occasions and reviewed it officially twice in blind tastings, first as a new release in 2002 and again last year in a retrospective tasting. I loved the wine on release (94 points), but it didn’t show as much finesse and flavor in the retrospective last year (88 points). This bottle was on, more like it tasted on release—amazingly youthful and complex, ending with delicate berry notes. 94 points again, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the previous blind-tasting reviews for Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve 1999 ($65 on release).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Cabernets.
Tim Wilson — Raleigh, NC — February 9, 2010 10:32am ET
Jeffrey D Travis — University Park, FL., USA — February 9, 2010 12:53pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — February 9, 2010 2:33pm ET
Thomas Kobylarz — Hoboken, NJ — February 9, 2010 2:44pm ET
Dave Reuther — Deerfield, Illinois — February 9, 2010 4:15pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 9, 2010 5:51pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 9, 2010 5:57pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 9, 2010 6:02pm ET
Christopher J Ascher — Shorewood, MN — February 9, 2010 8:14pm ET
Brian Smith — Washington DC — February 10, 2010 7:15am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 10, 2010 11:59am ET
Jeffrey D Travis — University Park, FL., USA — February 10, 2010 1:45pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 10, 2010 1:58pm ET
D S Cuppy — Phoenix, AZ — February 10, 2010 7:57pm ET
Ted A Hunt — Fort Lauderdale, Fl — February 10, 2010 9:08pm ET
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash