1999 Forman Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #997969 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. Deeply pitched aromas of violet, smoke, tobacco, leather and cigar box; 'real French funk here,' says Forman. Dense, sweet and chewy; a rather broad-shouldered cabernet for Forman, with primary fruit flavors of mulberry and cranberry complicated by a cedar note. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and excellent length. From a low crop level due to a difficult flowering. Contains more cabernet franc than the 2000. (ST) 93+  (5/2002)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Ric Forman's powerful, strong 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon (1,398 cases) is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 15% Petit Verdot. After spending 21 months in barrel, it was bottled unfiltered. A classic bouquet of ripe currants readily emerges from this dense ruby/purple-colored 1999. It possesses a supple texture, sweet tannin, plenty of ripeness, beautiful purity, and a layered personality. Forman told me his goal is "Ausone," but this effort has more in common with the Ausones of the late '90s produced under Alain Vauthier than any of the emaciated, austere wines made by the previous administration. Forman's 1999 will drink well for two decades. (RP)  (8/2002)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A dead ringer for a Bordeaux with its taut structure, firm tannins and excellent structure. Dense and concentrated, with compact earthy currant, cedar, pencil lead, mushroom and a slight cheese rind edge, all of which add up to complexity. (JL)  (9/2002)

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: $119.99
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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.


- 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.