These old classics captivate me… I know kids don’t get it: they see them as supermarket labels with no charisma other than classic Continental boomer appeal. Forgettable uncool labels. Some of them have sold out heavily, some have washed up heartily, many gone bulk or disappeared completely. I think it is fair to say ALL of them have ripened up, so I am always left with a bit of a quandary on these newer vintages: Will they survive?

This one’s kinda oily and fat on the nose. Beautiful spice and newsprint, lots of tobacco–not smoke: tobacco–but barely hinting at acidity or vegetal or barnyard: all things which the 99% are vehemently opposed to. And these brands MUST concoct a corporate mouthfeel to woo the 99.

Watery and vapid in the mouth, there’s just no there there. Mushy cherry, a completely hollow middle, slushy tannin. It’s not horrible. It’s good. It’s just not memorable. Oh I’ll remember it–don’t you worry. And honestly the most fascinating part is: Where will it be in 10 years? in 20? Can it do the Freemark Abbey shuffle with the great old-skool Valley brands? This one I’m hesitant to grant that wish to. It has no complexity, no ire or exuberance. There is a gravely ramp in the finish that gives me hope. The abv is equally impressive. It could do it! I can remember tasting some of these wines in the 90’s and thinking there wasn’t much there but someone pulls one out 20 years later and it is gorgeous! The problem is: these wines have changed ON RELEASE. Maybe they can do it! Lettuce prey.

2014 FREEMARK ABBEY Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.2 #libbeyglass

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