Mötley Crü does '90/'91 California Cabernet Sauvignon

Steve Williams

Tasted November 21, 2009 by MarkC with 257 views

Introduction

With the theme "She's Finally Legal", Steve opened up a bunch of '90 and '91 California Cabs to see how they fared.

Flight 1 (8 notes)

Red
1990 Dominus Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
Barnyard and a bit of sulfur on the nose. Palate is very BDX-like. Astringent/drying tannins on the finish. Flavors included tea leaves, dried, dusty raspberry and tobacco.
Red
1991 Dominus Estate Napanook Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
1991 Dominus: Similar to the '90 in many respects, but more rounded and there is an element of "sweetness" that didn't exist in the '90. Mostly red fruits, and I think Francophiles would really enjoy this wine as long as they like fruit, too :-)
Red
1990 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
1990 Dalla Valle: Subtle and reserved nose upon first pour, with some licorice and blackberry. Juicy blackberry on the palate, with still quite noticeable tannin. If the tannins resolve and the fruit remains, this would be unbelievable. Made all the better by the $16 price tag from Baron's!
Red
1991 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
1991 Dalla Valle: Initially couldn't get past a funky nose. It wasn't corked, but there was a definite chemical/soap element that made this not so great. The palate showed plenty of structure, with hints of chocolate and coffee and some spice on the finish. After three hours, however, this wine was in the running for WOTN. Probably ended up as my second-favorite wine. The chemical element was gone, and this was full of red fruits along with the aforementioned flavors.
Red
1991 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles Reserve USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
1991 Justin Isosceles Reserve: Plum and cherry with cedar on the nose. The palate shows the last vestiges of primary strawberry, with herbal fruit tea. This improved and put on weight with air, and was in the running for the WOTN for the first hour.
Red
1990 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
1990 Shafer Hillside Select: Mostly cedar on the nose, with hints of fruit and spice. Plum was the most noticeable flavor on the palate. Good balance, but ultimately a bit underwhelming. (Initially, this was much better, but seemed to drop off pretty quickly after 30 minutes of air.)
Red
1990 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
1990 Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard: May have been one of the best wines, but I failed to take a formal note and this ended up getting drained before I could go back. I remember it tasted very young, and I did jot down that I would have believed if somebody told me it was ten years younger. Strawberry, plum, some cedar, and overall a nice package. Didn't get the total airtime of the Dalla Valles, however so final judgment is reserved.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvée Constance France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
1989 Huët Vouvray Cuvée Constance: A 20-year old wine that, I think, is way too young. Still incredible, however, with incredible honeyed fruits and a strong backbone of acidity that balanced nicely. I'd like to taste this one in 20 more years as I bet it will be amazing.

Closing

How'd they fare? Pretty darned well!