Vintage Retrospective: 1994 & 1995 Napa Valley

If you pay attention to street style, you know the 90s are coming back. Luckily, we can travel back in time to take solace in these amazing wines that came out of Napa Valley in the mid-90s. Antonio Galloni shares his insights with these excerpts from the Vinous Vintage Charts . 1994 Napa: 96 points, Drink "One of the great modern-day vintages in Napa Valley. A mild summer followed a fairly dry winter and cool, long spring, which allowed the moderate crop load to ripen slowly and consistently. A period of very warm weather during the first half of August just after veraison brought some unevenness in coloration but the better growers simply thinned their fruit to achieve more even ripening of the grapes that remained. The long, mostly cool growing season resulted in extended hang time for the grapes, allowing growers to harvest fruit with extraordinary flavor development and completely ripe tannins. The harvest took place under relaxed conditions in September and the first half of October, with just a single minor, short heat spike in mid-September. The best 1994s are fully mature but in no danger of dying anytime soon. Only a few wines are past their peaks or in decline." 1995 Napa: 94 points, Drink "Record rainfall in January and again in March gave the vines enough hydric reserves to handle a series of heat spikes from late June to early August. Although 1991, 1994 and 1997 all garnered more praise among 1990s vintages, the 1995s are in the sweet spot to deliver maximum pleasure today."

Chateau Montelena

The Montelena Estate Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon 1994

Quintessential California cabernet from my favorite vintage from California. Bold elegant perfumey and in your face. Blue fruits followed by red fruit aromatics, awesome mid palate flavors of leather licorice tobacco and cigar. Tannins softened by time makes the finish last for more than a full minute. This is truly First Growth quality. Go ahead, pick a better bottle, I dare you! — 9 months ago

David, Matt and 5 others liked this

Dalla Valle Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1994

What a crazy awesome wine! It has it all, pure fruit profile, great acidity and a nice grip, with long finish. Everything is balanced well. So much energy for a 24 year old wine. Last month I had the 94 Harlan, 94 Colgin HL, and 97 Colgin HL, and this blew them all away. — a year ago

Shay, Eric and 7 others liked this

Eisele Vineyards

Eisele Vineyard From the Vineyards of Barbara and Milt Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

A joy🍷🍷. This is why I went to law school! Tannins are perfect, fruit is alive and will be great for another 10 plus years. — a year ago

Shay, Hugh and 7 others liked this

Groth Vineyards & Winery

Reserve Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 1994

Purchased on release & drinking very youthful for its 24 years of age. — a year ago

Shay, Adam and 6 others liked this

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay 1994

butterscotch bread nutmeg very round mouthfeel still alive! — 9 months ago

LM, David and 1 other liked this

Bryant Family Vineyard

Proprietor Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

Peter Marks
9.5

Celebrating my son’s birthday and birth year. Amazingly soft and velvety. Cedar spice, black currants and toasted bread. Can’t image it tasting any better than it does now. — a year ago

Benjamin, LM and 2 others liked this

Turley

Aida Vineyard Petite Syrah 1994

As expected. Big and bold but not over powering. Remarkable. — 9 months ago

David, Warren and 4 others liked this

Mount Veeder Winery

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1994

Showed great after decanting for 30min. Still ripe and full body. — 9 months ago

Jay, Shawn and 7 others liked this

Dalla Valle Vineyards

Pietre Rosse Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

Very much alive, showing a nice core of dried red fruits framed by leather, cigar, sweet brown spice, Pernod, vanilla, hoisin and chestnut. The acid considerably fresh, tannins are integrated and soft, the sweet oak is present but mingles well with the aged-Sangiovese character. — a year ago

David and LM liked this

York Creek Vineyards

Spring Mountain District Meritage Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 1995

Alder Yarrow
9.3

One of the unsung heroes of Napa Wine. Gorgeous, forest floor, red fruit, leather and earth tinged with bacon fat. — a year ago

Brendan, Scott and 9 others liked this