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2011 Napa Cabernet: Throwing a Wet Blanket on a Cold Year

2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is considered by Eric Asimov and company in The New York Times. These wines are the product of a wet and cold year, but what's even chillier than this vintage are the comments from readers regarding the price and style of the wines. Asimov demurely notes, "The fact is, Napa Valley wines are not usually good values." To which a reader responds, "'Not usually good values.' A masterpiece of understatement!"

Considering the low ratings versus high price of these Napa Cabs, another commenter will be driven to swapping 750ml bottles for 12oz cans when it comes to beverages: "2 measly stars for 50 bucks. Such a deal. Looks like I'll be drinking beer this spring."

The least expensive bottle considered clocked in at $37, prompting a bit of outrage: "Those prices are ridiculous. You could at least have tasted some Louis Martini, a Napa Cab that those of us who don't make more than $1M/year can at least consider."

Asimov's piece even inspired a bit of psychoanalysis: "Even at their best Napa Cabs seems like the guy at the party who has to be the center of attention and even if he's half as smart and witty as he imagines he is, you make a mental note not to invite him next time."

Finally, instead of just bellyaching, why not offer an alternative? "My favorite AVA is Paso Robles. I feel they are making beautiful, complex wines that are much more approachable both in price and taste."

Do you feel the prices for Napa Cabernet are outrageous? Should this tasting have included some bottles in the $20 range, even if they are, as Asimov dismissively states, "intended for the mass market"?

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