1992 Dominus Estate Napanook Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Pop and pour.  Purple with ruby swirls, still looking bright.  The nose is nice.  Cassis, dried currents, tobacco and dust.  On the palate, this took some time to open and then was singing.  At peak or perhaps just a bit past, this won't last as long as the 01 or the 94, but it has plenty of great drinking left.  Layers of cassis, dried fruits and dry earth.  Good balance.  Very food friendly.  A lot in common with and older Bordeaux but still has some energy and sunshine screaming California.  

2012 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Pop and pour, like many 2012's this seems a bit shut down right now.  Luckily, there was time to wait.  After about an hour it opened nicely.  inky purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cassis, spice, dried cherries and a slight tobacco note.  On the palate, this is drinking quite well.  Black cherries and spice.  Nice texture.  Sill young, it unwinds in the glass.  Deep and tightly complex.  Good finish.  This is a robust wine that needs about five years of good cellaring.  It has a couple of decades left.  Will work with bigger foods but works great on its own right now.  

2013 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Wow.  This wine should make old bones, but it is so good now, it is not likely to.  Stunning wine that seemingly gets better and better.  This bottle was consumed over 4 hours and the last glass was the best.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, graphite, cedar, blueberries and spice.  On the palate, this has a seamless texture.  Delicious.  Deep and tightly layered; it explodes in the glass.  Tons of cassis and blue berries layered with minerality and spice.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  It does need bigger or spicier food, but it is oh so good.  

2012 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

2012 is such an interesting vintage.  An excellent one to be sure, but the wines were so open on release and they have slowly closed over time.  This one was tight and really needed a few hours of air to open up and show its stuff.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is great.  Very concentrated cassis, spice, leather and slight black cherries.  On the palate, this is again quite concentrated.  It opens in the glass with plenty of cassis.  Medium tannins.  A fair amount of oak/spice still left.  This probably needs five more years of good cellaring to hit its peak.  Will work

2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This was consumed over two days and distinctly better on Day 2.  Purple in color.  On Day 1, there is a lot of oak showing.  The fruit is tight.  On Day 2, the nose has nice cassis with spice and underlying char.  On the palate, medium tannins.  They integrate on Day 2 with nice cassis, black cherries and char.  Some level of complexity.  This needs a couple of years in the cellar.  The difference between day 1 and day 2 was probably 3 points in terms of accessibility, complexity and friendliness.  For a wine that retails for $40, show some patience.    Might even have more upside to it in

2016 Miriam Alexandra Cabernet Sauvignon Napa County, USA, California, Wine Review

Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty with cassis, slight tobacco and slight cocoa.  A bit drying on the palate.  Nice cassis fruit.  Some depth, there may be some upside to cellaring this wine for a few years.  Light tannins.  Not a huge wine at all.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.   Available at Nakedwines.com.  

2016 Camille Benitah Cabernet Sauvignon Foncé, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, dust and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Slightly tart acidity.  Plenty of cassis fruit with an underlying grittiness which is interesting.  It is a big and easy to drink Napa Cab but should have some upside over the next few years.  Plenty of fruit and not over ripe.  Will work with medium and heavier bodied foods.  Available at Nakedwines.com.

2010 Quintessa, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cherries, cassis and chocolate.  Also some dustiness.  On the palate, this is very elegant.  Not the big fruit bomb I was expecting.  Cassis, layered with chocolate and char.  Great texture.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  Seems to still be youthful.  There might be some upside but it is delicious now.  

1997 Viader Proprietary Red, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color.  The nose is dusty with cassis, tobacco, and slight cherries.  On the palate, this has cassis and cedar over some tobacco and clay.  Nicely layered, this wine is drinking great right now.  Another Napa Cab that drinks like older Bordeaux with some years.  If you like mature wines, this is at peak, if you like fruit powerhouses, this is past.  It is balanced and very food friendly.  Drink up.  

1997 Opus One, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, tobacco, it is slightly dusty and cedar.  On the palate, this still has some tannins left and plenty of fruit but is fully mature.  Cassis with some black olives.  This seems like a good bottle.  There is a nice complexity to it.  Very smooth.  Very food friendly.  Blind, i think most people would guess mature Bordeaux.  Of course, with a wine of this pedigree, there is always a lot of anticipation, but I think this is probably the wine producers were trying to  make back in 1997.  It succeeds at that if a very different wine from most 1997's.