Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The May installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2006 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 Friday and will publish a Bottle Note shortly thereafter.

The 2006 vintage in Napa Valley produced many outstanding wines but the vintage was not without it’s challenges. A cool Spring, heat spikes in July and cool weather near harvest kept winemakers on their toes. At 15 years of age most wines will be drinking well and the premier labels have years to go.

The contenders:

  • 2006 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon – The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon has put on considerable weight over the last 12 months. It exhibits aromas of melted licorice, creme de cassis, burning embers, black currants, cherries, and smoky, meaty notes. Rich, full-bodied, and dense, but surprisingly accessible, it is ideal for drinking over the next 15+ years. 92 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2006 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate appears to have completely shut down, not surprising as Montelena’s Cabernet Sauvignons typically need plenty of time. The 2006 reveals medium to full body, austere tannins and lots of red and black fruits, dusty, loamy soil undertones and a hint of herbs/tobacco leaf. Give it another 4-5 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 20+. 91 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2006 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon – The first vintage for Jennifer Williams, 2006, was a low-crop year, with only 2,743 cases produced. The final blend harkens back to the first two vintages of Spottswoode, in being almost 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is flowery with terrific fruit intensity and classic Spottswoode elegance and purity. Deep ruby/purple color, youthfulness still to this day and plenty of breadth, depth and richness. An underrated vintage, sandwiched between 2005 and another great one, 2007, this is a sleeper year and a beautiful wine that should drink well at least for another 20-25 years. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Should I Open?

  • 2006 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon (60%, 21 Votes)
  • 2006 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (23%, 8 Votes)
  • 2006 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon (17%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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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 June installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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