California Cabernet 2014: Panel tasting results

Our three-strong panel has blind tasted and rated 174 wines from the vintage. Below, Premium members can be among the first to see which wines came out on top, with an introduction to the vintage by Karen MacNeil and a report on the results by Tina Gellie.

One hundred million dollars-worth of destruction – that’s often the first thing that comes to a Napa Valley producer’s mind when you mention the California 2014 vintage.

The figure, from analyst Rob McMillan at Silicon Valley Bank, is an estimate of damages that resulted from a 6.0-magnitude earthquake that ripped through the valley at 3am on 24 August 2014.

The harvest was already well underway, having started early on 30 July with grapes intended for sparkling wine.

More than 60% of Napa Valley’s 450-plus wineries sustained damage – mostly to structures, machinery, barrels and wine in vats. Much of the Cabernet Sauvignon, luckily, was still on the vine.

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