When you do a blind tasting the best part about it is that it takes away all the preconceived notions. Human instincts is to like the most expensive wine. In this 4 bottle challenge we sampled the following.
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley $20
2014 Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Buena Vista $45
2014 Nemerever Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Block 4 Select $75
2014 Nine Suns Cabernet Sauvignon Houyi Vineyard $250
Here are the results of the event.
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
Like most of these anniversary wines they make way too much and they underwhelm. Remember Caymus. Stewed fruits, earth, subtle oak and spices. Medium finish but lacks acidity. Drink now. (85 pts.)
2014 Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Buena Vista – USA, California, Napa Valley
Another great showing for this wine. Dark fruits, tobacco, spices and subtle oak. Very concentrated wine and has a long life ahead. This is my favorite sub $45 wine of the year so far! (93 pts.)
2014 Nemerever Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Block 4 Select – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
This is a disappointment for the price point. The Buena Vista crushed this wine at $45. Kind of boring with red currants, mild oak and floral notes. Not concentrated and short to medium finish. Would not recommend at this price. (87 pts.)
2014 Nine Suns Cabernet Sauvignon Houyi Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Wow! This wine is amazing. One of the best I have sampled this year. Concentrated with dark cherries, blackberries, spices, oak, vanilla and earth. Long finish and good acidity. Decanted 2 plus hours. I would see this peaking in 2025. Excellent wine and thanks to David for providing this one! (95 pts.)
The clear favorite was the Nine Suns amongst the guests followed by the Buena Vista. Almost everyone picked the Mondavi as the cheapest and it tasted like it. I loved the Nine Suns however would I rather have 5 Buena Vista’s or 1 Nine Suns. Easy 5 Buena Vista wines. I understand the price of land sometimes dictates pricing on these wines but my budget does not allow for wines that cost $250.
3 thoughts on “Napa Valley Price Point Challenge (Does Price Matter?)”
Nice idea John. I love blind tastings and how sometimes the most expensive wine does not come out on top.
Just did a blind tasting of nice Syrahs and sometimes hard to tell the difference between Napa and Australia.
Guys nothing beats a well run blind tasting. No knowledge means no biased results when scoring!
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