1998 Forman Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #993199 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red-ruby. Very complex aromas of cherry, redcurrant, tobacco, smoke and violet; if the '99 is claret-like, this is a bit more Burgundian on the nose. Sweet and supple; very nicely balanced but possesses less stuffing than the '99. Lovely inner-mouth florals call to mind a wine from Pauillac. The oak tannins are a bit more apparent on the finish, as there less density in the middle palate. But very successful and stylish for this difficult vintage.  (6/2001)

89 points Wine Spectator

 An earthy style, with those flavors more prominent than the currant, anise, black cherry and blackberry fruit. It's deeply concentrated, but be forewarned, the tannins are leathery.  (7/2001)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon displays complex, Bordeaux-like aromas that recall a top-notch Medoc. In the mouth, the tannin is dry and angular, but the wine shows plenty of attractive black currant fruit presented in a restrained, understated style. It is medium-bodied, elegant, and best consumed during its first 10-12 years of life.  (12/2000)

K&L Notes

Ric Forman is one of the living legends of California winemaking. With a history at Sterling, Newton, Duckhorn, Abreu and of course Forman Vineyards. There are few other winemakers who can claim such influence in the very formation of the wine industry in Napa.


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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.