1996 Forman Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301108 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the most impressive recent Cabernet Sauvignons from Forman is his 1996. I was amazed how well it was showing despite having been bottled only a month earlier. The saturated ruby/purple color is followed by gorgeous jammy black currant fruit aromas, along with spicy oak and licorice. There is good acidity, but the wine appears to possess more viscosity than most Ric Forman offerings, as well as a chewy fleshiness, enough acidity for delineation, and moderate tannin in the convincingly long finish. This classic Bordeaux-styled wine should be at its finest between 2001-2020. (RP)  (12/1998)

92 points Wine Spectator

 An earthy, tarry, herbal streak runs through this otherwise firm, elegant and cedary wine, with mineral, spice, currant and plum notes. Earthy tannins on the long, complex finish. (JL)  (11/1999)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby-red. Highly nuanced nose combines bitter cherry, mulberry, cassis, tar, black licorice, violet, leather and mint. Supple and intensely flavored, with nicely restrained sweetness. Slightly sauvage suggestions of leather, violet and creosote reminded me of claret. Finishes with good length and slightly tougher tannins than those of the '96. This should go in the direction of underbrush as it matures. (ST)  (6/1999)

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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Price: $99.99
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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.

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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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.