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1997 vintage recommendations

gatordoc Jun 16, 2007 11:32 AM

I have a wedding anniversary and was thinking of surprising my husband with a 1997 bottle of wine, the year of our wedding. Any recommendations? I was leaning towards Champagne, but not tied to that idea.

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  1. m
    mengathon RE: gatordoc Jun 16, 2007 01:03 PM

    I know 1996 was the great vintage of the decade for Champagne, but don't think 1997 was particularly good.

    If you both like California cabernet, the 1997 Silver Oak, Alexander Valley was exceptional.

    1. Carrie 218 RE: gatordoc Jun 16, 2007 01:10 PM

      '97 was an amazing year for Napa and you should have no problem picking up a decent Cab from the area that will show quite well.

      On the high-end scale, think Silver Oak, Stags Leap, or any of the big names from that ilk. I fondly recall Rabbit Ridge's Aventura (a Cab/Sangiovese blend) was astonishing and that was before Rabbit Ridge plummeted. Gundlach Bundschu's Vintage Reserve still rings true as one of the best wines I've ever had and while possibility not available as a 750ml, I know they have magnums of the wine (thanks for reminding me, actually - I think I'll buy one!).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218
        jteiber RE: Carrie 218 Oct 7, 2010 11:24 AM

        The 1997 Rabbit Ridge Aventura, remains one of my favorite bottles of wine of all time. I bought 2 cases initially and have been hording my final bottle, I wish I could find more.

        1. re: Carrie 218
          jock RE: Carrie 218 Oct 8, 2010 06:53 AM

          rabbit ridge's winemaker, erich russell, also made a very good 97 cab under his own name.

        2. limster RE: gatordoc Jun 16, 2007 01:48 PM

          '97 was a very good year for Alsace. If you're leaning towards something sweet, a late harvest or noble rot Tokay Pinot Gris or Gerwurztraminer can be excellent. Trimbach and Zind Humbrecht are good producers.

          1. oolah RE: gatordoc Jun 16, 2007 02:11 PM

            1997 was a stellar year for Brunello de Montalcino. Happy anniversary!

            3 Replies
            1. re: oolah
              maria lorraine RE: oolah Jun 16, 2007 02:31 PM

              This is the ticket. 1997 was the "harvest of the century" in Italy and most of Europe. That year, without question, is one of the single greatest years ever for Brunello, especially the Riservas. The 1997 Biondi Santi Brunello Riserva was one of the greatest wines I've ever tasted in my life. [wine geek talking] Expensive, though, and other '97 Brunello Riservas would also work. Tell us what you decide to buy. Happy ten years!

              1. re: maria lorraine
                moto RE: maria lorraine Jun 17, 2007 12:18 AM

                hello, from what you're saying, the '97 Brunellos are peaking now? I had a couple of different '97 Chianti Classico riservas last year that were very pleasing, if the Brunellos are too pricey that's another option (food match up another factor of course). cheers

              2. re: oolah
                ChefJune RE: oolah Oct 8, 2010 08:54 AM

                and also for Chianti Classico Riserva!

              3. g
                gatordoc RE: gatordoc Jun 16, 2007 07:14 PM

                What great suggestions! I'm glad we got married in such a good year. I'll check some of these out and report back on the decision.

                2 Replies
                1. re: gatordoc
                  Chicago Mike RE: gatordoc Jun 17, 2007 02:48 AM

                  1997, above all, was a great year in Italy. Barolos, Brunellos.... one of the greatest Italian vintages that we'll probably see in our lifetime.

                  California Cabernet also excellent and the Vintage Port's not bad either.

                  1. re: Chicago Mike
                    Husky RE: Chicago Mike Jun 19, 2007 11:43 AM

                    I tend to like 1999 from Tuscany better than 1997 -- 1997 seems more "international" in style, while 1999 is an excellent representation of how very good Sangiovese can be. 2004 is looking really good too...especially Rosso di Montalcino, which when good, is one of the best values in wine...I know you know this ; )

                2. w
                  whiner RE: gatordoc Jun 17, 2007 09:23 AM

                  1997 Fisher Wedding Vineyard, but that might be frightfully expensive and hard to find. (I mentioned it because it is an awesome wine and it is the "Wedding" vineyard. Get it?)

                  In the non-stratosphere I would reccomend a Brunello or Barolo/Barbaresco. If you give a general price range or style preference I could give specific reccomendations.

                  The vintage Port idea is also nice.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: whiner
                    rickym13 RE: whiner Jun 18, 2007 02:59 PM

                    i agree with whiner...97' fisher wedding vyd is a great bottle if you can find it. it will cost you $150-$200.
                    few other 97' napa stuff that i had which was great are:

                    97' insignia
                    97' dominus
                    97' ridge montebello
                    97' peter michael les pavots
                    97' pahlmeyer red
                    97' etude cab
                    97' dalla valle cab

                    97' italian are good but not sure if its at their peak yet?

                    1. re: rickym13
                      drumwine RE: rickym13 Jun 18, 2007 04:12 PM

                      VG list rickym...would add '97 BV Tapestry and '97 Chateau Montelena

                      1. re: drumwine
                        ChefJune RE: drumwine Oct 8, 2010 08:55 AM

                        and 97 Chimney Rock Elevage

                      2. re: rickym13
                        Bill Hunt RE: rickym13 Jun 18, 2007 07:25 PM

                        An addition to this list (actually three additions, but same winemaker and general property) would be Diamond Creek. I've been tapping into some of my DC's from '97 and they are drinking nicely: Gravelly Meadow, Volcanic Hill and Red Rock Terrace. Do not have the Lake. The price range will be about same as Insignia, and the Dalla Valle Maya Cab, but still just below $200.

                        Depending on where you are located, a supplier like K&L Wines (www.klwines.com) should have a selection of most of the above mentioned wines, and can ship to many states. Or, you may have a good supplier of older Cabs, etc. nearby.

                        Happy Anniversary,

                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                          whiner RE: Bill Hunt Jun 18, 2007 11:55 PM

                          "The price range will be about same as Insignia, and the Dalla Valle Maya Cab"

                          I'm not as big a fan of DC as you are, but I think you meant the Dalla Valle Cabernet. Without lookin it up, I'm pretty certain the Maya goes for $600++

                          '90s Maya is also my favorite wine ever made in CA (the '92 being the very greatest) so if you wanted to spnd in the stratosphere...

                    2. Eugene Park RE: gatordoc Jun 18, 2007 06:32 PM

                      What's your budget, and how much of an oenophile might your husband be?

                      If money is no object and you're also trying to get him something "Holy Grail-ish", then the '97 Screaming Eagle would be my recommendation.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Eugene Park
                        Carrie 218 RE: Eugene Park Jun 18, 2007 08:43 PM

                        Yeah, sure... at $2,500 to $3,500 a bottle!

                        1. re: Eugene Park
                          chickstein RE: Eugene Park Jun 19, 2007 04:55 AM

                          The Screaming Eagle....have you tasted it? What were your thoughts?

                          1. re: chickstein
                            Carrie 218 RE: chickstein Jun 19, 2007 10:20 AM

                            I have tasted the '97. I also own the '01, 02, and '03 Screagle.

                            Sure, it is a great wine. But for price, I can spend the money and get a LOT more great wine that is just as satisfying which is why I buy it when I can -- as an investment to turn it around for wine that has a higher QPR for me.

                        2. g
                          gatordoc RE: gatordoc Jun 19, 2007 08:07 AM

                          So many great suggestions...hmmm...how to choose...

                          Basically, my husband is not at all an oenophile - zilch, nada. The bottle is basically for me, but he'll be pleased with the sentimental value of the year on the bottle. My budget is up to about $200.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: gatordoc
                            whiner RE: gatordoc Jun 19, 2007 10:03 AM

                            Do you want something to drink by itself? With food? Do you have any wine preferences?

                            If that is your wne budget I would say:

                            Brunello: Siro Pacenti
                            Barolo: Sandrone Cannubi Boschis
                            CA Cab: Joseph Phelps Insignia or Etude (or, best, Fisher Wedding if you can find it)

                            All (except maybe the Fisher) should be under $200.

                            Personally, I'd go for the Sandrone, but that is deffinitely more of a food wine.

                            1. re: gatordoc
                              rickym13 RE: gatordoc Jun 19, 2007 10:22 AM

                              gatordoc - where do you live? i have plenty of 97' in my collection that i wouldn't mind selling ;)

                              1. re: gatordoc
                                pinotho RE: gatordoc Jun 19, 2007 04:06 PM

                                you want a Barolo or Barbaresco (both are made from the same grape : nebbiola) , as they are hitting their peak , and your husband will be able to relate to their lusciousness.

                              2. g
                                gatordoc RE: gatordoc Jun 21, 2007 08:13 AM

                                A 1997 Luce was recommended to me by my local wine shop. Has anyone tasted this one?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gatordoc
                                  whiner RE: gatordoc Jun 21, 2007 09:15 AM


                                  It is popular. Ummm... I think Luce is a bit overpriced for what it is, but it is certainly a good wine. If I were going with a 1997 Tuscan I would go with a Brunello. Also, the '97 Luce should not be anywhere even approaching $200. The most expensive price for it online is $99.

                                  Also under $100, I think you would be happier with the 1997 Uccelliera Brunello. But, again, the Luce is a good wine, just not a great wine, imo.

                                2. Yaqo Homo RE: gatordoc Jun 21, 2007 05:17 PM

                                  Go for some ice wine on this special occasion! I've had spectacular Inniskillin ice wine from Canada from that vintage. As for your husband, you don't have to be a wine lover to be mesmerized by the intensity of the stuff--it's heavenly.

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