Vintage Charts

United States

United States California/Cabernet/Napa

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Vintage Score Drink Window Description
Vintage
2017
Score
89–93
Drink Window
NYR
Description
Drought broke over the winter, with lots of vegetation and healthy vines to start the season. Good growing season turned wickedly hot in early September, with no cooling-off period, then wildfires raged in early October, raising the specter of smoke taint. Napa’s most difficult season in recent memory
Description
Drought broke over the winter, with lots of vegetation and healthy vines to start the season. Good growing season turned wickedly hot in early September, with no cooling-off period, then wildfires raged in early October, raising the specter of smoke taint. Napa’s most difficult season in recent memory
Vintage
2016
Score
98
Drink Window
Hold
Description
The final drought-influenced vintage of the run since 2012, this time without serious heat spikes. Rockier soils and drier spots ripened first, while heavier soils allowed for longer hang time. Wines show intense fruit against the backdrop of their varying terroirs; crop still down from normal
Description
The final drought-influenced vintage of the run since 2012, this time without serious heat spikes. Rockier soils and drier spots ripened first, while heavier soils allowed for longer hang time. Wines show intense fruit against the backdrop of their varying terroirs; crop still down from normal
Vintage
2015
Score
94
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
The fourth drought-influenced year in a row, plus a cold spell during flowering led to significantly lower yields. The smaller crop ripened quickly, though, with picking beginning in August. Quality is high but more variable than 2016 or 2013, as sugars sometimes raced ahead of phenolics
Description
The fourth drought-influenced year in a row, plus a cold spell during flowering led to significantly lower yields. The smaller crop ripened quickly, though, with picking beginning in August. Quality is high but more variable than 2016 or 2013, as sugars sometimes raced ahead of phenolics
Vintage
2014
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Heavy rains in February and March gave the vines an early boost—though not enough to break the drought—and from there warm, dry conditions led to an early harvest. Quality is very consistent, with the wines showing power and depth, as well as extra aromatic range. A beautiful vintage with a distinct signature
Description
Heavy rains in February and March gave the vines an early boost—though not enough to break the drought—and from there warm, dry conditions led to an early harvest. Quality is very consistent, with the wines showing power and depth, as well as extra aromatic range. A beautiful vintage with a distinct signature
Vintage
2013
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Practically a flawless growing season, with moderate temperatures throughout and no heat spikes or rain. Earliest harvest in 25 years started in August, but Indian summer conditions allowed growers to pick blocks as they wanted through late October. Wines brim with fruit and structure. A no-brainer benchmark
Description
Practically a flawless growing season, with moderate temperatures throughout and no heat spikes or rain. Earliest harvest in 25 years started in August, but Indian summer conditions allowed growers to pick blocks as they wanted through late October. Wines brim with fruit and structure. A no-brainer benchmark
Vintage
2012
Score
96
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
The first of California’s drought-influenced run and a welcome return to warm, dry conditions following the rain-marred 2011 season. Record-sized crop with many stars; a solid vintage across the board marked by a tannic spine that will age well
Description
The first of California’s drought-influenced run and a welcome return to warm, dry conditions following the rain-marred 2011 season. Record-sized crop with many stars; a solid vintage across the board marked by a tannic spine that will age well
Vintage
2011
Score
86
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Rare rainy harvest proved it can happen; few sunny spots, variable quality
Description
Rare rainy harvest proved it can happen; few sunny spots, variable quality
Vintage
2010
Score
96
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Cool, steady year; wines show exceptional quality, tight, dense and layered
Description
Cool, steady year; wines show exceptional quality, tight, dense and layered
Vintage
2009
Score
96
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Late, cool year yielding a surprise bounty of pure, opulent wines
Description
Late, cool year yielding a surprise bounty of pure, opulent wines
Vintage
2008
Score
96
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Frost year lowered yields but not quality; unique for its depth and concentration
Description
Frost year lowered yields but not quality; unique for its depth and concentration
Vintage
2007
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Textbook year; small crop, ideal ripening, wines defined by complexity and plush tannins
Description
Textbook year; small crop, ideal ripening, wines defined by complexity and plush tannins
Vintage
2006
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink
Description
A late, cool harvest produced dense, concentrated and ageworthy wines
Description
A late, cool harvest produced dense, concentrated and ageworthy wines
Vintage
2005
Score
92
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Record-size crop; best are elegant and balanced, yet many are tannic and drying out
Description
Record-size crop; best are elegant and balanced, yet many are tannic and drying out
Vintage
2004
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Small crop of exceptional quality; ripe, elegant, concentrated and harmonious
Description
Small crop of exceptional quality; ripe, elegant, concentrated and harmonious
Vintage
2003
Score
85
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Uneven ripeness; austere and tannic in style. More like 2000 than 2001 or 2002
Description
Uneven ripeness; austere and tannic in style. More like 2000 than 2001 or 2002
Vintage
2002
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Superb in Napa; dense and rich, rivaling 2001 for depth and complexity
Description
Superb in Napa; dense and rich, rivaling 2001 for depth and complexity
Vintage
2001
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Excellent weather; many stunning wines but also a few disappointments
Description
Excellent weather; many stunning wines but also a few disappointments
Vintage
2000
Score
85
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Mixed and a bit green overall, but some stellar wines that may be overlooked and undervalued
Description
Mixed and a bit green overall, but some stellar wines that may be overlooked and undervalued
Vintage
1999
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Tremendous depth, concentration and structure from a cool, moderate year; ageworthy
Description
Tremendous depth, concentration and structure from a cool, moderate year; ageworthy
Vintage
1998
Score
84
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Cool, damp year with mostly green, herbal wines marked by gritty tannins; few memorable bottles
Description
Cool, damp year with mostly green, herbal wines marked by gritty tannins; few memorable bottles
Vintage
1997
Score
99
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Huge crop of ripe, opulent, fleshy, concentrated wines, from near-perfect weather; super in Sonoma, too
Description
Huge crop of ripe, opulent, fleshy, concentrated wines, from near-perfect weather; super in Sonoma, too
Vintage
1996
Score
96
Drink Window
Drink
Description
A sleeper, with a remarkable number of compelling wines; warm year with fine concentration and depth
Description
A sleeper, with a remarkable number of compelling wines; warm year with fine concentration and depth
Vintage
1995
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Surprisingly fine year, with wines marked by great flavors, balance and structure
Description
Surprisingly fine year, with wines marked by great flavors, balance and structure
Vintage
1994
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink
Description
A showy year all around; ripe, complex and fleshy, with excellent depth
Description
A showy year all around; ripe, complex and fleshy, with excellent depth
Vintage
1993
Score
88
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Just off the pace, with well-balanced, supple wines; a few stars
Description
Just off the pace, with well-balanced, supple wines; a few stars
Vintage
1992
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Fine growing season led to uniformly rich, fleshy, supple and balanced wines
Description
Fine growing season led to uniformly rich, fleshy, supple and balanced wines
Vintage
1991
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Big crop, ripe and complex; a star early on, only to be eclipsed by others this decade
Description
Big crop, ripe and complex; a star early on, only to be eclipsed by others this decade
Vintage
1990
Score
89
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Small crop but many deeply concentrated wines that have aged well
Description
Small crop but many deeply concentrated wines that have aged well
Vintage
1989
Score
85
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Big crop, cool year with rain at harvest; earthy, diluted flavors
Description
Big crop, cool year with rain at harvest; earthy, diluted flavors
Vintage
1988
Score
83
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Small crop; simple wines
Description
Small crop; simple wines
Vintage
1987
Score
95
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Small crop, early harvest; best wines mix ripe flavors with fine structure
Description
Small crop, early harvest; best wines mix ripe flavors with fine structure
Vintage
1986
Score
96
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
A big crop with intense, richly flavored wines
Description
A big crop with intense, richly flavored wines
Vintage
1985
Score
97
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Ripe, rich and fleshy, with superb balance
Description
Ripe, rich and fleshy, with superb balance

Vintage ratings: 95-100, classic; 90-94, outstanding; 85-89, very good; 80-84, good; 75-79, mediocre; 50-74, not recommended

A score range indicates preliminary analysis based on barrel samples and/or a limited sampling; many wines of the vintage not yet reviewed.

Drinkability: "NYR" means the vintage has not yet been released; "drink" means most of the wines of the vintage are ready to drink; "hold" means most of the ageworthy wines have yet to fully mature; "past peak" means most of the wines are declining rather than improving.

SOURCE: WINE SPECTATOR