Sunday, August 7, 2016

1996 - 2006 - 2016

A small piece of beef grilled over oak wood was the perfect foil for a 1996 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford in the Napa Valley. 1996 was a vintage preceding the heralded 1997 vintage in Napa and gets overlooked, but it is hard to overlook this wine. 

In 2006 I attended a retrospective tasting at a local merchant who bought a substantial amount of Napa cabernets from the 1996 vintage.  They held the wines for ten years in perfect conditions and then offered them to the folks attending the tasting at the original  offering price.  For the Staglin that was $65.  I purchased my allotted two and brought them home.  Yesterday was a beautiful evening following a long stretch of high temperatures and high humidity in this area.  It was time for good, red wine.

The cork was not in the best of shape, but came out in two pieces with minimal crumbling, though the wine was poured through a strainer to remove some of the floating small bits.  The color was a medium garnet, showing some fading at the edges.  It was crystal clear and beautiful.  The bouquet was beautiful, a bit of fruit, a bit of oak and a bit of mint.  One sip was all it took to decide the wine was at a perfect point and was a perfect mix of dark cherries with highlight of red cherries.  The tannin were soft and enveloping and gave the wine its structure.  The finish was long and mellow and at the very end was bone dry.  This wine was a pleasure to drink.

1996 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  13.8% alcohol.  I was unable to find an auction price for this vintage but the current vintage price is above $200. 

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