1996 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

1996 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

High on the mountaintop where Cab is King, this 100% varietal was produced from three of the most awesome Cabernet lots this vineyard has ever produced. Bountiful aromas of ripe cherry and cassis mingle with smoky oak nuances. Immense, round and sweet on the mid palate, soft tannins linger with ripe berry flavors. Finish tannins provide the essential grip for long term cellaring. As this wine ages and its tannins soften further, the finish may last for days! The ’96 Cabernet vintage on the mountain can only be called great – the most extracted lots that are assembled here are unbelievable. This wine is truly the best of the best, and will continue to improve for decades.

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Appellation: Napa Valley
Vintage: 1996
Harvest: October 1996
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: Select French Oak
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.1%
Bottling: February 1999
Production: 313 cases
Release Date: July 1999
Release Price:


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  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 1999, page 53 - Rating: 92+

    Good deep ruby. Vibrant, floral aromas of blueberry, cassis, black cherry and cedar. Sweet, quite dense and aromatic in the mouth, with a supper ripe note of chocolate. Very primary and in need of bottle aging. Thoroughly ripe and impressively long on the aftertaste. These two reserve bottling are superb for the vintage, but will require patience.

  • The Wine Advocate: August 27, 1999 Issue 124 page 43/44 - Rating: 99

    The Virtually Perfect 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (330 cases) is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Opaque purple-colored, with a profound bouquet of minerals, flowers, black fruits, and spice, this awesomely concentrated, multi-layered wine represents the essence of Cabernet Sauvignon. Amazingly, it is neither ponderous nor heavy handed, with the oak, acidity, and tannin woven into the wine's formidable, concentrated personality. The finish lasts for nearly a minute. Sadly, it is extremely limited in availability, but what a compelling wine it is! Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.

  • Wine Spectator: October 31, 1999 page 138 and November 15, 1998 page 248 - Rating: 94

    Ripe, rich and full-bodied, with a complex array of spicy currant, black cherry, earthy-leathery nuances and mineral flavors. Tightly wound, it's in need of short-term cellaring. Best from 2001 through 2010. 312 cases made.