Napa Cab – are hillsides better?


With my colleagues Stephen Brook and Margaret Rand, I had the pleasure of taking part in a blind tasting of the following 42 top Napa Valley Cabernets for the World of Fine Wine magazine. The purpose was to see whether the wines grown on hillsides rather than on the valley floor tasted perceptibly different.

I'd say that the answer is an extremely qualified yes. The problem for our experiment is that there is such variation in California in the ripeness level deemed desirable. Some producers seem to have decided to prolong hang time to such an extent that ripe-to-overripe characteristics...