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Top 10 Overrated Wines

This was on another wine board and I thought it was interesting. Generallyy speaking (and noting there are a few exceptions), I agree with the comments about Marlborough SB, Austrailian shiraz and super-Tuscans....


Your take?

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  1. This is a silly post that could have been both funny AND pointed. To dismiss entire grape varieties or countries is just absurd. When they get specific, there is much more power. Though how could we tell that Screaming Eagle is really over-rated since 99.999% of us will never have the chance to try it?

    For me, I would say that the Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz is overrated, but the Boxer is not. I would say that Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc is overrated, but other NZ Sauv Blancs can be quite interesting. I think Silver Oak in general is way over-rated. And the list goes on and on and on...

    1. Easy : Opus One.

      Tougher : DRC. Of a dozen or so tasted, no big hits, except the buyer's pockets.

      7 Replies
      1. re: RicRios

        "Easy : Opus One."

        Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

          1. re: zin1953

            oh golly, do numbers even go high enough?

        1. re: RicRios

          Ouch on the DRC. I've never had a bad experience, I've also only paid for two that I have tasted. But it is my favorite winery.

          I think you could argue it is overpriced -- the price differential between Dujac (which tastes more like DRC than any other winery I know of) and DRC is tough to stomach -- and Dujac is already really expensive. But I don't think DRC is overrated.

          1. re: whiner

            The similarity is not surprising. Jeremey is Aubert's godson. However, compared to his dad - he can't make wine. Going forward, Dujac is in trouble from what I've tasted.

            1. re: Caillerets

              That is no gouda. The youngest Dujac I've had is the '99 Charmes-Chambertin.

          2. re: RicRios

            These types of bordeaux style blends are among my favorite domestic red wines, but I have to admit, for the money, I don't get Opus One. There are at least two dozen domestic red blends at less than half the price (often much less) that I like as much or better.

          3. You could argue that latour and palmer and lafite and DRC and d'yquem and any of the other french wines costing $350+ on release are far more overrated than the $20 mollydooker or the $13 Brancott S.B.

            I like how the writer completely dismisses entire countries and varietals. Its bizarre to say "grab a loire sancerre" if you want to a decent SB. I like the fact that the same grape tastes completely different when grown in the central coast, the loire valley, or the marlborough. Different expressions of the same grape for different foods or different moods.

            With increased interest in the Loire, will he label that region next years "overrated region"?

            Its an interesting idea for a topic, so I'll give you some of my overrated wines...
            Caymus Conundrum....a fun wine at $15, a ripoff at $28.
            wines I think are overrated, but I'll never know cuz I'll never taste em..
            Eroica Single Berry riesling....$200 for a 375?!?!
            Opus One...just so many other similar wines for less than half the price.
            Screagle ...okay, I'll agree with him on that one.

            11 Replies
            1. re: chrisinroch

              i agree on the OPUS, but disagree on the Conundrum, we always keep it in the house,

              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                I'm with you on the Conundrum. Also, I buy it by the case at US$19, so I find it quite the "deal." Now, I did like the blend better, prior to, what was it? - the '96, when Wagner cut the level of Muscat quite a bit and the Viognier a bit. It went from an expression of Southern nights, with all the flowers in bloom, to just a good, mildly aromatic white, that goes with a ton of different food items.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  This is why there's more than one winery in the world! Even at $19, I'd opt for other things, personally -- but that's my taste. Happy T-day!

                  1. re: zin1953

                    And, that IS why there is more than one winery. While we agree on many, there are some wines, that we do not appreciate equally. Just because Conundrum has been our house white for some years now, does not mean that it will be appreciated by all. However, when I've put it into the wine list at several events, it has been the universal hit, even against wines costing 4x. Now, that only means that it can be a "crowd pleaser," and nothing more. Over the last decade, I've had more folk wanting the name of this one, than all of the 1er Cru Bdx, major Cal-Chards, and even somewhat rare OZ whites. Heck, even more than most of my favorite white Burgs, that cost as much per btl., as a six-pack of this one. Is it for everyone? Nah. Many find it too fruity, and want something more austere. That is their taste, and I respect it.

                    Still, I'll be we agree on more, than not, over the course of a few years.

                    Appreciate your comments, as always,

                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                    Preference or not, this is lovely wording:
                    "It went from an expression of Southern nights, with all the flowers in bloom, to just a good, mildly aromatic white, that goes with a ton of different food items."

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Thanks. I saw it at COSTCO over the weekend. For some reason Trader Joes, only has the half bottles.

                  3. re: chrisinroch

                    Actually, I'd take the Eroica Single Berry Riesling over a d'Yquem. If it had just a little more acidity, it would probably be, imo, the best dessert wine on the planet.

                    1. re: chrisinroch

                      Yeah, I don't quite get Conundrum either, especially at $25+ in NYC. At $19, it's not so bad.

                      1. re: mengathon

                        Mengathon, another reason to visit sunny Arizona! Now, I enjoy this wine, and find that it pairs with a lot of foods. I've even served it with grilled beef, for "white-only" wine drinkers, and it's held up, OK. I do not enjoy thinking about buying it at most restaurants, as the markup is quite high, usually around US$50-70 - just out of hand!


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Funny how reading this board can jog your memories. I now recall the first and last time I had the Conundrum. It was definitely the '05, and I believe I had it with an experimental homemade saffron potato soup with fish stock and a bit of cream and thyme, with seared salmon and grilled asparagus. And I distinctly remember the salmon as being just a little over the hill. Or maybe it was the asparagus that clashed with the wine. For whatever reason, something just wasnt working in the mouth midpalate and the finish. The nose of the wine, I agree, is extremely pleasant and fragrant.

                          My expectations were also of something refreshing and light, which is probably not how most people would describe Conundrum.

                          You've convinced me to give Conundrum another try. That is, when I find it on sale for less than $25 =)

                          Happy Thanksgiving!

                          1. re: mengathon

                            You know, I've had it with salmon, done a few different ways, and found a metallic note to it. It does not, in MHO, pair with everthing, but goes a long way. I think that the parts of this wine put it into the category of a nice Riesling, when food is factored into the equation.

                            For salmon, I guess that I am a bit of a traditionalist, in that I like a lighter PN, or a well-made Pinot Gris/Grigio, though these have been more difficult for me to find. That "metallic" note seems to creep into a lot of wines with that particular fish, and I am not a fan.

                            As for the price, my Costco usually has it for US$19.99. My local boutique grocer has it for US$27, and if that was the price, I'd likely move it off my "house wine" list for white.


                    2. I gotta say, I agree with a lot of that article.

                      -I have little faith in the fruit-bomb St. Emillons

                      -With the exceptiong of fewer than a half-dozen (very expensive) producers, I don't find Aussie Shiraz enjoyable.

                      -Screagle is great, but even under old management it wasn't even one of the 3 or 4 best CA Cab/Blends. Under new management? Don't know and unless someone wants to open a bottle for me, I'll never find out.

                      -I'm not a huge Chilean Cab fan, BUT don't mistake that for a comment about Casa Lapostelle's abaility to make a great value Merlot dominated wine at the $20 range, and a truly world class Merlot dominated wine in its 'Clos Apalta'

                      -Long Island. Yup.

                      -The singling out of Sea Smoke is unfair. But the general sentiment that the popular Pintos coming from that region of CA lack the delicacy and detail that I want from a Pinot (or any wine in their price range) is pretty much correct.

                      -Clos de Vougot. This is another oversimplification with a good basic message. Even though it is a Grand cru lots of the wines produced from it aren't grand. This problem is not specific to Clos de Vougot at all, but because there are 80 different wineries putting out Clos de Vougots but probably only a handful of great wineries doing it, it is most apparent here. But you could also look at Echezeaux, Bonnes Mares, Charmes-Chambertin, etc and see that some producers are awesome and some aren't.

                      On the other hand...

                      -I think Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has its place. For under $15 Kim Crawford remains one of the better values in white wine. And there is so damn much of it that the prices are holding steady. It is a good summer quaffer and a good "beginner" white wine, too. Sure, it isn't as good as one of th ebetter Sancerre's but it isn't as expensive either. (And while we are at it my favorite dry Sauvignon Blancs don't come from the Loire, they come from Austria and Graves.)

                      - Super Tuscans. First of all, not all Super Tuscans are made from Bordeaux grapes. Take one sip of a San Giusto Percarlo and you'll know it is Sangiovese. Also, you'll know it is world-class and it certainly tastes of Tuscany. Second of all, there are some tremendous values in Super-Tuscans. Not the $100+ -aia wines, but the $30 wines like Ciacci Piccolomini's Ateo or Ucceliera's Rapace. And let's not forget Piccolomini's awesome Syrah - Favius. Then the 'big boys' that this is actually referring to... I dissagree there as well. I think, especially the wines of Bohlgeri do show a sense of place, they are half way between new wrold styled and Bordeaux style and often have a bit of a red clay sense. For $75 there is little coming out of Bordeaux OR CA can can compete with a Tua Rita Giusto di Notri.

                      -I don't know enough about Albarino to comment.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: whiner

                        I'm not a big fan of Long Island wines, but overrated? Are there world-class wines coming out LI? Probably not a whole lot, but the region doesn't get much press or acclaim to begin with to be overrated, IMO.

                      2. I tend to have significant issues with anyone who makes such generalizations and the article did just that. There were some fair or interesting points but overall I think it was unfairly conceived and was primarily intended by the article's author as a puff piece for her soon to be available book.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ibstatguy

                          I agree. The harm is that the avg GQ reader may only read one wine article in 2007 and this "drive by shooting" of an article is it.

                          1. re: chrisinroch

                            I would only hope that the "average GQ reader" looks into wine, more than the mentioned article. I do not go to GQ for anything, but I am not in their demographic. If one wants to spear a few "sacred cows," then this works. However, I feel that it offers little, regarding wine selections. Heck, even I could trash Cabs, Chards, Syrahs - wait, that's already been done.


                        2. I think SCREAGLE is probably just a tax scam. Produce an expensive wine, sell some bottles at the inflated price, then donate cases to charity and take the tax break.

                          1. My take is that in general I take very little advice on wines, and I take none at all from men's style magazines.

                            There does seem to be some confusion here between over-rated and "over-priced".

                            As to Screaming Eagle, why wouldn't I want to buy wine from a real estate millionaire?

                            As to Oz Shiraz, aren't they mostly described as a "good-value" wines? Not really much of an over-rating.

                            1. I followed most of the links on this last night for some fun reading. As most of you probably know, the author is a lady, a fairly opinionated lady. Several of her pieces show up in the SF Chronicle, plus she contributes often to the NYT and Time Magazine. The path down these links led to eBob, which led to a discussion of the appreciation of Barolo, to new vs. old style that started a intense discussion of 70’s Cal Cab vs. new style Cab and its age worthiness, which got the author banned from eBob by Mr. Squires. She had incessantly criticized Parker in her posts, anyway. The consensus was that this “10 list” was a light hearted article for new wine drinkers in a fluff magazine, but a lot of people sure got wound.

                              From Carswell’s post here in “Wine Blogs", we get the author’s opinion of Parker:
                              Take this quote from a Loire winemaker, which, until the publisher's legal department got ahold of it, was to be the epigraph of her about-to-be-released book: “It is fortunate that Parker wasn’t born to the Eskimos because we would all be eating seal meat.” www.alicefeiring.com

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: BN1

                                It IS a problem . . . that particular board does not take criticism well. At least, criticism of a particular person . . . other people can be criticized all you like!

                                Then again, there are others which don't as well, some quite close to home. there is a rather huge grey area -- where it FEELS like it's a public site, but in reality . . . .

                                1. re: BN1

                                  Her writing has that irreverent, in-your-face tone that's showing up more and more in print and on Food TV. (Perhaps Anthony Bourdain is the Father of the Movement.) It's slightly in the daring comic-riff Sarah Silberman vein (e.g., a kitty litter box as the photo for Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs). The humor of that is not lost on me but I'm not won over either. In any case, the writing is controversial, thought-provoking and conversation-starting. Maybe that's the point.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    I am not a fan of "in your face" journalism. I want someone to tell me what the wines taste like, not editorialize, or even award points. When it comes to the kitty-litter, there are more FR SBs, that come to my mind. To me, NZ, whether CB, or Kim Crawford, bring up hay and tons of grapefruit. Someone got their metaphors mixed, in the quest of humor.

                                    I'm not a fan,

                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                      "In any case, the writing is controversial, thought-provoking and conversation-starting. Maybe that's the point."

                                      Couldn't agree more.

                                  2. Its easy to pick on the big buck wines...Dom Perignon NV. Getting by on the name for at least a decade maybe longer???

                                    So I'll throw out some lower priced wines for discussion...
                                    Kendall Jackson Chardonnay during the late 90's early 00's During this time, it was marked up on every winelist around.

                                    Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay, why does this wine get so much positive exposure. It is a $10 wine in a $30 bottle.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: chrisinroch

                                      I am with you on the K-J on wine lists. In the Deep South, it is everywhere, and marked up to beat the band.

                                      As for the Sonoma Cutrer, I used to like the Le Pierre's and the Russian River, and was less a fan of the Cutrer. Wish I could recall the previous owner/winemaker, but mind is blank. Back in his time, it was a fairly highly allocated restaurant wine, but things have been changed dramatically. Unless someone else gets the wine list first, it's one of the last wines (any of the three), that I would go to in that price-range. Because of that allocation, I think that many perceive it as being rare and pay the price.


                                        1. re: Caillerets

                                          I believe that you are correct. Thanks for the info.


                                    2. Well, "overrated" is in the palate of the wine drinker...

                                      "Over-priced" is a more objective question.

                                      Whoever wrote this article (aren't they a GQ critic?), is all over the place. Lambasting the entirety of Aussie Shiraz, which includes the oldest syrah vines on the planet, because they don't like "Yellow Tail", a grocery store swill by anyone's estimation.

                                      By the same logic, they should dismiss all of Bordeaux because of their first "overrated" wine, Bordeaux Garagiste...

                                      The fact is, that there's superb wine from almost every one of the sources they cite as "overrated", but also pedestrian stuff too...

                                      In the same article they complain about 20 buck a bottle Albarino and 500 a bottle California Cabernet... it's just all over the place...

                                      At the end of the day, the most "overpriced" wines on the planet? Those are pretty obvious.... trophy wines that have risen in price far past similar quality nearby wines. Trophy bordeaux, burgundy, Grange shiraz, cult Californians, etc. etc.

                                      But to dismiss the terroir of Australia, Tuscany, Chile, as not producing fantastic wine is just to reveal this writers superficiality, IMO.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Chicago Mike

                                        I have an idea - why don't we ask what magazines and writers are overrated?

                                        1. re: monkuboy

                                          Different topic, and the answer is simple: they all are . . . to one degree or another. ;^)

                                      2. Ever since becoming certified as a wine professional, it seems people love to try and push me to name my favorite wine. How is that possible? My fav today could be a gorgeous Carmenere, tomorrow it could be the perfectly soft red portugese table wine that I found languishing in a dusty bin. Last summer it was falanghina; next summer, who knows?

                                        It's nearly impossible to take into account one person's opinion on something as objective as wine tastes. Open any bottle, of any wine from any region in the world for any number of people and you will get that many different opinions about it. To take any one person's thoughts into account when making a judgment about wine is to somehow think that they know everything there is to know about the topic. This is utterly impossible.

                                        I personally can't take seriously anyone who criticizes or praises a particular wine; what matters is what goes in my mouth and what I think of it. Honestly, am I going to think someone is serious about their dislike of Aussie Shiraz when they show a photo of a Yellowtail bottle?? If that is their reference point, they know nothing. I'm no snob, yet I am no amateur either, and I don't read GQ for their wine recs (nor do I read it at all). My preference is to pick something different every time I enter a wine shop and see what I can find. Usually I am pleasantly surprised, sometimes I go 'Ewww' but my 'Ewww' could be someone else's 'Yum'. Some people love salmon, some hate it, but you could never call it overrated.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: cooknKate

                                          "I personally can't take seriously anyone who criticizes or praises a particular wine"


                                          That seems like an awfully broad statement. What was your purpose in becoming certified as a wine professional (what kind of certification, out of curiosity?) if not to be better able to give and consider opinions on wines?

                                          I am part of a group of roughly a dozen folks who get together monthly to do BYOB tastings, usually blind. Collectively we have some very different preferences in wine styles. We do a lot of criticizing and praising of particular wines, and while we don't always agree on what is "best in show" on a particular night, there is typically pretty solid consensus on which wines were well made, and which are disappointing in one way or another.

                                          And while greatness may be a very subjective thing, badness is often much easier to behold. There are some wines that are objectively flawed, there are many that are simply insipid, and there are some, that while passable, are probably not nearly worth what people will pay for them because of the reputation or cache of the label. What's wrong with expressing such opinions?

                                          1. re: cooknKate

                                            >>> Ever since becoming certified as a wine professional . . . <<<
                                            MS or MW?

                                            >>> I personally can't take seriously anyone who criticizes or praises a particular wine . . . <<<

                                            Oh, that's ridiculous!

                                            -- "This bottle of Jean Deaux Vineyards is great!" That's my opinion; why can't I voice it?

                                            -- "This bottle of Chateau Cache Phloe sucks -- it's filled with mercaptans." That's a fact! Why can't I voice it?

                                            I think -- or at least, I hope -- that what you are trying to say is that you can't take anyone seriously if they act/behave/think that their's is the only opinion that counts! that they know it all, and their word is gospel!


                                            I think -- or at least, I hope -- that what you are trying to say is that *** there are no great wines; only great bottles of wine. ***


                                            1. re: zin1953

                                              Quick question: are "mercaptans" considered a flaw?


                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                In very broad terms, I'd say yes. However, a lot would depend on exactly which mercaptans were present, and the amount. One must consider that essence of tuberose is in the mercaptan family, as is skunk musk. Now, a wine with just a hint of tuberose might be nice, while skunk musk, well, less so.


                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  Hunt is right -- there are some beneficial mercaptans that contribute to a wine's flavor, but most make a wine worse, and are, without question, considered flaws. Some of the awful mercaptan smells are rotten egg, cooked cabbage, onion, asparagus, garlic, and burnt rubber.

                                                  Some mercaptan aromas found less often that are rather pleasant are passionfruit and red grapefruit (both 3MH), Riesling-type notes, passionfruit [again] and boxtree (3MHA).

                                                  Mercaptans are usually the result of reduction errors (oxygen deprivation)during fermentation. Mercaptans and screwcaps are a hot issue right now. Screwcap closures don't allow as much oxygen into the bottle as a cork and because of that sometimes the wine sometimes develops smelly mercaptans that weren't there before the wine was bottled.

                                                  Problems with corks, problems with screwcaps too.

                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                    Speaking of reduction and screw caps, has anyone cellared a NZ pinot (with screwcap closure) for, say five years, and tried it?

                                                2. re: Chinon00

                                                  Generally, yes. (See the responses you've already received.) Keep in mind that most of the mercaptans people are familiar with stem from problems with sulfur.

                                                  SO2 = burnt match aromas
                                                  H2S = rotten egg
                                                  Mercaptans = skunk

                                                  If the winemaker were on top of things, this could be easily avoided.

                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    Mercaptans are one type of sulfur compounds, and there are several subtypes of mercaptans.

                                                    I always love to know the source of a wine aroma or flavor. Is it an aroma/flavor inherent in the varietal itself, or does it come from somewhere in the winegrowing, fermentation, racking/bottling, or aging process?

                                                    Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), this brings out my wine geek/wine chemistry side. Picking up on Jason's post above, here are the major volatile sulfur compounds (and correlating aromas/sflavors) caused by reduction. (The pleasant ones are at the bottom.) If you've ever smelled any of these aromas in wine, now you know their source.

                                                    H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide) = rotten egg
                                                    Ethyl Mercaptan = burnt rubber, garlic, skunk
                                                    Methyl Mercaptan = cooked cabbage, onion, putrefaction, rubber
                                                    Dimethyl Sulfide = asparagus, corn, molasses
                                                    Diethyl Sulfide = cooked vegetables, onion, garlic
                                                    Dimethyl Sulfide = cooked cabbage, intense onion
                                                    Diethlyl Disulfide = garlic, burnt rubber
                                                    Methional [3-(Methylthio)-1-proponal] = cauliflower, cabbage, potato
                                                    Benthothiazole = rubber
                                                    Thiazole = popcorn, peanut
                                                    4-Methylthiazole = green hazelnut
                                                    Thiophene-2-thiol = burned, burned rubber, roasted coffee
                                                    4MMP (4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-w-one) = cat urine, box tree/blackcurrant
                                                    3MH (3-mercaptohexan -1-ol) = passionfruit, grapefruit
                                                    3MHA (3-mercaptohexyl acetate) = Riesling-type notes, passionfruit, box tree

                                                    Source: The Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 11, 139-173 (2005)

                                              2. re: cooknKate

                                                I'm not familiar with the term "certified wine professional". Can you tell me more about it?

                                              3. Overrated.

                                                Well I know I'm simply sick of hearing about Trader Joe's wines and how "good" they are and how cheap they are.

                                                I went to the trouble to try 4 of them, and none of them were anything I'd buy. I cheerfully and regularly pay 3-4 times the cost of their wines for my daily wine-drinking. If I were limited to Trader Joes or Everclear, I'd drink Everclear.

                                                It doesn't help that from the first moment I heard of "two-buck chuck" (which costs more than $2) the only referent I had for it was "up-chucking".

                                                At thanksgiving this year, I was informed by distant relations that "Trader Joe's is opening locally, isn't that Great!?" When my spouse asked "why is it great, what's the big deal?" we were informed "Well they sell such great wine at real prices, not the over-inflated prices that most wine is at, and all the wine-people are up in arms about it because they're winning international awards in blind-tastings, and the wine-snobs hate it..."

                                                I bit my tongue and didn't say a word, both to protect my hostess and to not deliver a 20 minute diatribe that none of them wanted to hear anyway.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: fussycouple

                                                  I am not a fan of Trader Joe's Wineshop either. I did purchase a nice rioja (Marques de Riscal, Reserva, 2002) for $14.99 at the NYC location.

                                                  1. re: fussycouple

                                                    I finally tried two buck chuck figuring that it would be on a par with a lot of decent simple <$10 california chardonnay, (think sebastiani) but I just did not care for it at all. It was closer to something like sutter home.

                                                  2. I haven't had the opportunity to try some of the wines on her list, but the ones I have I don't think are overrated at all. I did get a laugh out of the first page with the Nouveau Beaujolais slam, though. There are years when I've tried four or five different kinds and not found one that was drinkable! For the price I think most Chilean cabernets I have tried are great, and I have definitely had some good Super-Tuscans. I agree about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but think that is just my personal taste that I don't like them rather than the wines being overrated. Speaking of New Zealand, I think Central Otago Pinot Noirs blow the Marlborough SB's out of the water!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: jcoz23

                                                      >>> I think Central Otago Pinot Noirs blow the Marlborough SB's out of the water! <<<

                                                      How do you compare PN with SB?

                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                        I didn't mean to compare them per se, I just meant that I think that Central Otago is an UNDERRATED region of NZ for their Pinot Noirs as opposed to the OVERRATED Marlborough/SB region. Sorry!

                                                    2. just about anything from Mondavi....never have understood those wines...they made good pinot in 86 and 87 , and then stopped...??

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: pinotho

                                                        Mondavi's reserve Cabs in the mid 70's were nice wines. Long before cabs were cult.

                                                        1. re: Caillerets

                                                          I agree. What was it, 1997?, and attended a Mondavi 30 year event. We were treated to 30 wines from the 1966 through a barrel-tasting of the 1996, IIRC. Many were the "Reserve" Cabs, but the earlier ones just bore the Robert Mondavi label - Reserve was still in the future. There were some logical holes, but the winery did a good job of filling these with other Mondavi wines. Seems that the 1985 was missing, but they poured three different '87s. There was another hole, when the Opus One project was started, but they filled it with an Opus from the first batch (1988?). I wish that I had all of my notes from that event, but we've moved twice, since then.

                                                          All of the wines were excellent, in great shape, and showed well. The '66 & '67 were standouts, though totally different wines. Even without Mr. Mondavi pouring, I'd do this again, in a heartbeat. Now, many of his later iterations to meet stockholders' demands get graded down quite a bit, by me, but while he was at the helm (if not the crush pad, and blending rooms), I did not find a bad Mondavi, or Reserve, Cab. Though less a fan of the Opus One, it was a nice counter-point to include it in the lineup. I've done a few Opus dinners, and have been disappointed in them, even if Tim & Michael Mondavi were pouring. Oh, I own some, but there are too many actual "treasures" in my cellar, from the same years, same type of wine, and at about the same price-point to keep me from getting too excited about them.