1997 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

1997 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

99 Points Wine Spectator, 2000
99 Points Wine Spectator, 2000
98 Points Wine Advocate

Customer Ratings

Based on 2 ratings
Almost too much to drink

This is the quintessential knock-your-socks-off wine. It has everything - the knockout nose of intense berry and cassis flavours with a hint of oak is absolutely stunning. The flavors start off pretty intense and build up exponentially to super-intense with sweet blackberry, cassis, and spicy-peppery notes. No matter what you are eating with this the food becomes overpowered by the wine. You have to be prepared for a wine like this. I have to say I prefer the 96 and the 95 to the 97 as they seem to be more tame and more harmonious. The 97 is an experience more than it is a wine.

Napa Valley 1997

The 1997 vintage was one that had Napa growers smiling from ear to ear. They brought in a large crop of excellent quality, with 144,000 tons harvested compared to an average of 121,000 tons over the preceding decade. The optimum growing conditions over the summer and through the harvest produced wines that are superbly concentrated, dense, rich, and powerful yet balanced.

The growing season got off to an early start with bud break coming a month early in the warm late-winter and spring conditions. The vines seemed to shrug off a little rain that fell in early June. The summer was warm but not too hot, with one heat spike in early August, followed by moderate to cool temperatures, to slow ripening. September conditions were excellent — the grapes had a long period of ripening without any heat spikes, allowing growers to wait to pick at optimum ripeness. It is one of the greatest vintages of the decade, with wines that are firmly in their prime today. They have incredible extract, depth, and structure, with solid, dense fruit centers to match.

Key Dates

February
Early bud break, due to dry spring

June
Unexpected rain had little to no effect

May
Flowering

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