1994 York Creek Spring Mountain District Meritage

SKU #350183 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby-red. Intriguing nose combines black- and redcurrant, flowers, and brown spices. Sappy, sweet and ripe in the mouth; expressive already but sound acids give the wine firm structure. Subtle, persistent, fresh back end features firm but fine tannins. Elegantly styled and substantial. Made by Cathy Corison.  (5/1998)

K&L Notes

The owner of York Creek is Fritz Maytag (Of Anchor Steam beer fame). He has farmed the property since 1968, selling grapes from his 125-acre mountain vineyard to many outstanding names in the California wine industry (Ridge Vineyards among them). York Creek began making a small amount of its own wine in 1992, and today less than 1,000 cases of Meritage are bottled a year produced entirely from estate grapes grown on Spring Mountain above St. Helena. Hillside vineyard blocks range in altitude from 1,200 to 2,100 feet.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2016 | Send Email
We always look forward to the new set of older York Creek releases here. As my colleagues mentioned, this is an old school, mature wine that is so vibrant and youthful - a testament to the incredible Spring Mountain fruit and wine making talent responsible for this release! Wild berries, sage, and a touch of menthol hit your nose right off the bat, with an beautifully structured palate full of tobacco, spicebox, currant and blackberry notes. Fans of any previous York Creek releases will be absolutely delighted with this '94 Meritage!

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2016 | Send Email
This wine is great, undoubtedly WOTY (wine of the year) for fans of classic, nicely mature Cabernet based blends. Savory black fruits, a subtle hint of the mintiness present in York Creek's wines, and most impressively, incredible initial attack and volume on the palate for a 20 year old Cab blend. For $30 red wine to serve with pride for guests, or to enjoy with friends and family, I don't think anyone here could suggest a better bottle than this one.

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of past vintageswe just keep reloading because the wines are that good and you keep asking us for more. Our latest finds are pretty incredible. We have just a smattering of 1999 Meritage Magnums, a 1994 Meritage that has held up exceptionally for such a warm vintage and the 2006 Estate Cab which 10 years out is still wildly fresh and full of intensity.
1994 is not one of my personal favorite years for California Cab. The critics loved it. It was a hot year with huge yields and made big wines that were right on the precipice of going over the edge. Time has told us that while these wines were delicious, ripe and jammy young they didn’t really stand the test of time as a whole. But every vintage has exceptions and if you got off the valley floor and into the mountain districts of Napa you could make some spectacular and long lived wines. The 1994 York Creek Meritage fits that latter description perfectly. 22 years out this wine is still in tremendous shape, in fact most of the staff here at K&L was having a hard time believing it was really that old. Still quite fruit dominate on the nose with lots of blueberry, pipe tobacco, cassis and wild flowers this has just the slightest browning of color at the edge of the glass. Supple and velvety on the palate this has softened up considerably, time slowly sanding away the ruggedness of Spring Mountain’s typical tannins but not its concentration or complexity. The long, savory, delicious finish rolls steadily along and has plenty of black and blue fruits, with a nice set of scrub brush, bay leaf and marjoram qualities that are so common for high elevation fruit in Napa. All this for $30? Prepare to be blown away.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
This wine is such a steal for those of us who want to understand what great old school California wine is all about. The 94 York Creek Meritage has held up beautifully with just enough fruit to round out the edges of this earthy and integrated beauty. I can taste Cathy Corison's fingerprints all over this one. It's much more about the secondary flavors than the fruit, and at more than 20 years of age the wine is finally showing you all of that Spring Mountain splendor. This isn't for fruit bomb chasers. This is for serious Cali connoisseurs.

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
This Meritage from over two decades ago is showing great concentration and development with ripe red and black fruits like raspberry, blackberry and cherry, and layers of honey and anise as well. The fruit is vibrant and full bodied over fully rounded-out tannins and enough acid to make the finish crisp and strong. This is ready-to-drink, highly affordable and sure to be a crowd-stunner! What’s not to love?

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
Once again the cellar doors swing wide at Fritz Maytag’s York Creek winery, and we welcome the newest winery-direct releases from his library of older wines. Fans of the 1999 Meritage blend (and there were many) are going to be thrilled with this 1994 York Creek Spring Mountain District Meritage. From one of the top vintages of the decade, now twenty plus years old. Fair warning, you are flat out not going to believe how youthful this wine remains, a tribute to the winemaking skill of Cathy Corison, who crafted these unbeatable Bordeaux-inspired blends throughout the 1990’s at York Creek. The wine is still deeply colored, a rich purple with only a faint “bricking” at the rim. The wine’s age shows more clearly on the nose, nicely savory with the expected aromas of cedar and tobacco. Bright and lively, very fresh still in the mouth with plenty of sweet, ripe fruit – fresh-picked blackberry and blackcurrant notes. Lovely weight, medium to full-bodied with a very food friendly 13% alcohol. This will stand among the best of the wines we have received over the years from York Creek. Exceptional value here.

Additional Information:


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 Médoc 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.