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1997 vintage recommendations

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. 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. '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

        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

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

        2. '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. 1997 was a stellar year for Brunello de Montalcino. Happy anniversary!

            3 Replies
            1. re: oolah

              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

                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

                and also for Chianti Classico Riserva!

              3. 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

                  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

                    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. 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

                    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

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

                      1. re: rickym13

                        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

                          "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. 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

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

                        1. re: Eugene Park

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

                          1. re: chickstein

                            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. 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

                            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

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

                              1. re: gatordoc

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

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gatordoc


                                  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. 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.