Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The August installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. I plan on opening the winning bottle this Saturday and will publish a Bottle Note shortly thereafter.

2004 was a better than average vintage in Napa Valley with near optimal weather until a heat spike in September, causing decreased yields for many growers. The best wines from the vintage are showing really well at 15 years of age.

The contenders:

  • 2004 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon – No Maya was made in 2004, but the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Dalla Valle Vineyards possesses a beautiful bouquet of scorched earth, cedar, black currants, and licorice. It is full-bodied with sweet tannin, a voluminous, savory mouthfeel, significant complexity, generous depth and richness, and easy accessibility because of the sweetness of the tannin. This is a beauty from one of the most impressive terroirs on the eastern hillside slopes of the Oakville Corridor. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2004 Spottswoode Caberet Sauvignon – The wine, a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc came in at 14.4% natural alcohol. Loads of big, sweet, floral-infused blackberry and cassis fruit are present in this wine, which is multidimensional, has magnificent intensity, terrific unctuousness, in a very Château Margaux style, despite the conditions under which is was produced. There is an elegance and fragrance, yet power allied to full body that is striking. This wine, while on a relatively rapid evolutionary track, should hit its peak in another 3-5 years and last 20-25. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2004 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red– Composed of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, the saturated purple-colored 2004 Proprietary Red Wine is a wonderful monster in the making. It boasts a dense purple color as well as notes of beef blood, creme de cassis, licorice, incense and spring flowers. It looks more like a 2-year-old wine than one that has seen its tenth birthday. Mouth-coating, unctuously textured, corpulent but well-delineated, this is a spectacular Proprietary Red that is even greater than I remember it in its youth. 98 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Should I Open?

  • 2004 Dalla Valle Caberet Sauvignon (42%, 10 Votes)
  • 2004 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon (42%, 10 Votes)
  • 2004 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red (17%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 24

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the September installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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