WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

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WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Tim York » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:40 pm

Viader Napa Valley 1994 - Alc. 13.7% - was made from Cabernet Sauvignon 55% and Cabernet franc 45%.

Either the bottle was flawed or the wine itself was too old; I hope the former because I have another bottle.
C: Medium/deep ruby/garnet with slight bricking at the rim. No alarm signs here for a 15 year old wine.
N: Round red fruit with some strawberry and port like touches dominated by some ugly boiled cabbage notes which say to me oxidation.
P: Much better with medium/full body, elegant shape and quite long with some attractive complex sweet fruit and discreet, quite fine tannic structure but no lively acidity; though no longer dominant, there were some of those cabbage aromas lurking in the background; a declining 15.5/20 for the palate but only 11/20 for the nose.

The cork was crumbly but dry and there was no sign of leakage to explain these aromas.

The other recent time where I had an even more marked disparity of this kind between nose and palate concerned a 1995 Vin Jaune from Puffeney where the nose was disgustingly cheesy and cabbagey but the palate was crisp and exciting. But that was a deliberately oxidative wine. I don't think that effect is being sought in Californian Cabernet.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:42 am

Oh lordy Tim, what happened there! Guess the gang here are still celebrating Thanksgiving/having a lie-in/gone shopping so you might get some answers later.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Brian Gilp » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:24 pm

I also had a bad experience with the 1994 Viader. It was my only bottle and I opened it sometime within the past 2 years. My did not smell of cabbage but was uninspiring and tired.

I had a small verticle of Viader 1994-1997 and the results were mixed with only the 1995 really showing well. The 1996 was similar to the 1994 in that it was just there. The 1997 was corked and went down the drain.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Tim York » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:33 am

Thanks for that, Brian. I have also had a look at Cellar Tracker and the best notes on this wine seem to date from a few ago and lots of "flawed bottles". Obviously a bad choice for ageing and it's another lesson not to believe James Laube; 93 points, I think, in his Californian Wine (99 edition).
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Carrie L. » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:11 pm

I have a bottle of the 2000 vintage. When would you suggest drinking it? WS says between 2004 and 2012. Agree?
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Jenise » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:53 am

Carrie and Tim, I opened two bottles of '91 in the last five years that had years of life left in them. I also had a splendid '90. These wines do seem to go some distance, and there's certainly hope for your other bottle, Tim, unless the heat of that vintage produced early drinkers at Viader.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Jenise » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:02 am

So since I'm up waiting for a cat to come out of hiding so I can go to bed (hubby accidentally shut door on her tail), decided to do some more detective work and Tim, I'm afraid the news isn't good. I found four reports of this wine being opened in last year, and none of the bottles showed well. One fellow summed it up as "there just isn't much there" and another said his one was one dimensional with "reasonable mouthfeel but nothing really happening. All the sweetness this wine had [four years previous] was gone".

Carrie, better news on your 2000's. Seems to be drinking well now but one taster did opine that his remaining inventory should be drunk over the next two years. Probably better to err on the side of sooner than later--even if it would last years yet, at least you'll have it at or near its peak.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Tim York » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:29 am

Thanks for that, Jenise. I'll have a bottle of another wine standing up in reserve, when I try the next one.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Carrie L. » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:57 am

Jenise wrote:Carrie, better news on your 2000's. Seems to be drinking well now but one taster did opine that his remaining inventory should be drunk over the next two years. Probably better to err on the side of sooner than later--even if it would last years yet, at least you'll have it at or near its peak.


Jenise, sorry for your kitty, but I appreciate that you had some time to do a little research! Good to know. I'll put it on my "drink now" list.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Jenise » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:45 pm

Tim York wrote:Thanks for that, Jenise. I'll have a bottle of another wine standing up in reserve, when I try the next one.


While I was out there last night, should have checked on the '95's--which I own in both 750 and magnum. Haven't opened a one, but in general it was to my tastes a better year for aging than the fatter '94's.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Carrie L. » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:18 pm

Jenise wrote:
Carrie, better news on your 2000's. Seems to be drinking well now but one taster did opine that his remaining inventory should be drunk over the next two years. Probably better to err on the side of sooner than later--even if it would last years yet, at least you'll have it at or near its peak.


We had this the other night, and weren't crazy about it at all. It had lots of "barnyard" going on. Pretty much zero fruit. Between all the leather and the cow paddy notes, we felt like were were out on a farm.
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Jenise » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:05 pm

Carrie L. wrote:
Jenise wrote:
Carrie, better news on your 2000's. Seems to be drinking well now but one taster did opine that his remaining inventory should be drunk over the next two years. Probably better to err on the side of sooner than later--even if it would last years yet, at least you'll have it at or near its peak.


We had this the other night, and weren't crazy about it at all. It had lots of "barnyard" going on. Pretty much zero fruit. Between all the leather and the cow paddy notes, we felt like were were out on a farm.


Oh that's a shame. Sounds like brett. Has your bottle ever been exposed to heat?
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Re: WTN: Viader Napa Valley red 1994

Postby Carrie L. » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:32 pm

No, not since it's been in our possession. We have nice wine storage.
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