Scoring 19+ points on the Dionysian scale of a possible 20, with 13% alcohol, and costing exactly $18.56 when I got it in 1980, the wine was still dark ruby with an amber edge. 1974 SIMI Cabernet Sauvignon . Its nose showed red fruits with cigar box, cedar, and oaky smoke notes. It was perfectly balanced and had a long aftertaste.

 

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This was bottle number 194. I once had a case. They’ve all been shared with my son because it was his birth year. 1974 may have been California’s best vintage.

The wine was decanted just before dinner, a meal of grilled tender loin. The wine continued to open and change for just over an hour. This was one of the Alexander Valley’s best wines ever.  I wish I had more. At 45 years old, the wine was at maximum peak. It would have been great for another five years. In Vino Veritas.