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It seems getting harder and harder to find great 01/02 vintage cabs. Given the poor performance of 03 Cabs, I am looking for fabulous 04/05 Cabs (and blend) for both near term consumption and stock-up. Let's talk about 04 Cabs (or 05 if available now or soon) not to be missed? I have some in mind: 04 Schrader BTK, 04 Lewelling Wight, 04 & 05 Carter BTK, 04 Hourglass, 04 Gemstone, 04 Caymus SS, 04 & 05 Foley Claret, 05 Switchback Ridge Cab/Merlot etc. Any comments on above wines or recommending other ones would be quite rewarding.
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There are some really good recommendations on this thread, some of which I'll be taking advantage of myself Wink

I really like both the '04 and '05 Caymus Cabernet... great wine at a fairly reasonable price. The Special Selection is a fantastic wine, no doubt about it, but the regular Caymus Cab is about half the price (or even better) and damn good.

I'm also in agreement with cuff in regards to the '04 Cliff Lede and with Don P's recommendation of the '04 Turnbull... both are delicious (especially the Lede)!
Given the poor performance of 03 Cabs

What's this about the poor performance of '03 Cabs? Parker rated the vintage 92 points, versus 91 for '04, and 90 for '05. I am not a defender or believer of RP, but I am just asking what is wrong with the '03?

Now that I have just bought a bunch of 03 Dominus, Rubicon, BV GDLT, SLWC Fay and Artemis, and Grgich -- should I make sangria out of it? Red Face
I'm not a huge drinker of Cali Cabs. However, I WILL say I was severly disappointed with the '03 Caymus SS I had the other week. Nice, but certainly nothing special. I would think you'd not feel you will benefit greatly from cellaring the 03's a long time. Instead, enjoy them. I'd tend to think they'll drink fairly well younger and not improve greatly over time. Just my opinion, of course.

I AM focusing on the '04 Caymus SS and recently picked up some '04 Shafer. Never had the pleasure of trying the Lewelling Wight, but would certainly take the opportunity to purchase if I came across it.
Javachip - I am a big cab drinker and I had very very few 03's that were good so I stayed away from that vintage, as did most people I know. The wines were austere and a bit bitter for my palete, a huge dropoff from '01 and '02. I've tasted many '04s and am starting to taste some '05s, and from what I can tell, these vintages are also way better than '03. It's not just me who feels this way - FWIW, WS gave the '03 vintage for Napa cab an 85 ('04 was given a 90-94). BTW - the vintage rating you cite for all of california cabs and he noted it as "Irregular:.
Last edited by dc13
If you have the patience to wait for a while, '04 Philip Togni, Dunn Howell Mountain and Montelena Estate.

Right now I am having a good Franciscan '04 Cab. that is not a knock your socks off wine, but for $18, it is a real good one. Drinkable now, or you it could last up to 10 years.

Other 2004s I would look at would be Larkmead, and Ladera. If you can get it, Reverie also puts out some real good juice.

I had the chance to order some 2004 Harlan Estate, but when I saw it was $450 a bottle, I threw it in the trash and decided that money for 1 bottle of Harlan would buy my 6 bottles of '04 Dunn Howell Mountain.

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