1974 SIMI Cabernet Sauvignon

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.



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.

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1 Comment

  1. Robert Frank

    I must add that times have changed and generally I’m not a big fan of the warm Alexander Valley wines.
    As for 1974 being the best vintage in northern California, I’d say 68 and 70 give 74 a run for its money. I had the opportunity to have a mini vertical of George de La Tour around 1990. Had the above 3 vintages. 74 was still a tad young, 70 was spot on, and the 68 was at its apex.
    All three were absolutely lovely. Truly a highlight moment.
    There were many other wines from Napa and Sonoma from the middle 70s, but, quite frankly, I can’t remember a one of them.

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