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"California Cabs: '94 vs '96"

  by Fred McMillin

 

At the supermarket you buy a flank steak and then go to the wine department to buy a Cabernet Sauvignon. There are two $12 California Cabs, one a 1996, the other a 1994? Which should you buy?

Beaucanon To get an answer, we matched nine '94s with nine equal-price '96s to see which tastes better right now. Here are the results, but first we'll explain the scoring.

 

Scoring Method

Lets say the panel gave the '96 a total of 100 votes and the '94 110 votes. The '94 won by 10, or 10% over the '96.

 

The Results—California Cabernet Sauvignon

Winning Percent Year Price Winery/Appellation
1.8% '94 $30 ZD, Napa Valley
10.6% '96 $16 Alderbrook, Sonoma County
11.0% '96 $18 Clos du Bois, Alexander Vly. Selection
12.3% '94 $10 Shenandoah Vineyards, Amador County
12.9% '96 $23 Pezzi King, Dry Creek Valley
19.2% '96 $15 Geyser Peak, Sonoma County
21.8% '96 $14 Beaucanon Reserve, Napa Valley (pictured)
30.3% '94 $11 Meridian, California
32.9% '96 $14 Clos du Bois, Sonoma County
 

Conclusion

The younger wine won six out of nine matches. This test says buy the 1996.

 

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