Tried these two over the last two days:
1. DallaValleVnyds CabSauv NapaVlly (13.5%; 2.5 tons/acre; 9% CabFranc) 1994: Very dark color w/ slight bricking; very strong herbal/blackcurranty/Cab rather smokey/cedary/oak/toasty slight dusty/loamy bit alcoholic rather old-timey NapaVlly Cab nose; soft rather herbal/blackcurranty/Cab/spicy strong toasty/Fr.oak/smokey some tannic/hard/angular/young flavor; very long strong toasty/charred/smokey/Fr.oak strong blackcurranty/Cab/herbal/licorice finish w/ some tannins; a strong/4-square classic NapaCab that needs more age and not showing much evolution or development; boring as hell. $41.00
2. Foxen CabSauv MamereVnyd/SantaMariaVlly (EB; 13.5%) 1996: Very dark bit murkey color w/ some browning; very intense herbal/blackcurranty/Cab/loamy rather Bdx-like very strong minty/menthol/eucalyptus some toasty/charred/smokey/pungent/Fr.oak complex beautiful nose; fairly tart rich/angular intense herbal/blackcurranty/Cab/earthy/very Bdx-like quite minty/menthol/eucalyptus/koala bear poop charred/smokey/toasty/Fr.oak complex flavor w/ smooth/lush/round/graceful tannins; very long/lingering rich/mouthfilling/angular rather tart very strong charred/burnt/Fr.oak intense herbal/blackcurranty/Cab/DrPepper rather strong minty/menthol/eucalyptus/pungent complex finish w/ rich/ripe/round/structured tannins; lots of eucalyptus and lots of charred oak and lots of herbal/Cab character w/o straying into vegetal/underripe territory; probably near its peak w/ plenty of youthful vigor; easily the best most complex SB Cab I've ever had w/ some real Bdx-like character and some Languedoc character; terrific Cab and almost enough to make me start drinking Cabernet again. $38.00 (WCFutures)
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. SantaBarbaraCab: This was a wine I bought at a WineCask futures tasting (RIP...sniff/sniff). Back then, I was quite taken by its intensity and its powerful eucalyptus character. That's still there. Back then, SantaBarbara Cabs were not very good and ths one stood out like a sore thumb. The Foxen wines of that era always had a pretty strong hit of charred Fr.oak..which I think they've backed off since then. Since then, I've had a fair number of SantaBarbara Cabs, especially from out in the HappyCanyon area, that I've thought were as good as any being made in Calif. SantaBarbaraCnty...it ain't just Syrah anymore.