Six wine professionals, including yours truly, blind tasted six Napa Cabernets this week, all from the 2005 vintage, and all hailing from the legendary Oakville appellation. The survey produced some mixed, yet interesting results. The list of wines was as follows:
• 2005 Tamber Bey Cabernet Savignon ($65)
• 2005 Groth Cabernet Sauvingnon ($58)
• 2005 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon ($55)
• 2005 Gargiulo “Money Ranch Road” Cabernet Sauvignon ($85)
• 2005 Nickel & Nickel “John C. Sullenger” Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)
• 2005 Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon ($45)
The top wine of the flight was the Turnbull, and it was also my overall favorite. Among the members of the tasting panel, this wine was actually the favorite of one other taster, and no one ranked it as their least favorite. The only other wine to avoid any last-place votes was the Gargiulo — which earned one first-place vote — although three people did place it in the bottom half. Still, it did earn the runner-up title. Third place was the Groth, with an even number of votes for and against.
In fourth place was Nickel & Nickel, which was actually my second favorite, and a close second at that. Fifth was Tamber Bey, which I actually enjoyed the least, and sixth was the Ghost Block. I should point out that none of these wines were what I would classify as below average, even at this price range. This flight was pretty strong compared to some others, where I have immediately been able to pick out my least favorites. But the kicker is that the Turnbull is only $45 per bottle: just half the price of some of the others, and the least expensive bottle by $10 or more.
My next tasting will cover Rutherford. Hopefully, another great value will emerge. Stay tuned.