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1996 Clos du Val: Delicious or past its prime?

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Just got back from a discount retailer and saw this wine marked down to $19.99.
Should I definitely buy it or should I pass?

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  1. Saw that one too (at Grocery Outlet in Berkeley). Just looked it up in Wine Spectator. They rated it an 87 and "Best from 2000 through 2006." Interesting that it had a release price of $25. I saw a few other cabernets at that same GO from 1996, but can't remember what they were. I'm happy to look the others up too. I did

    1. You never know what the storage conditions have been like, but for $20 it would be fun to try just for cuiosity sake if it's a wine you are interested in. Hell, I still have mid 90' pinot that are fun to drink just because...and a lot of them have still been 90 plus point wines. Just do it! =) -mJ

      1. I'm assuming you're talking about the Cabernet, right? If so, I'd skip it. I don't like their wines in general, and the 1996 vintage didn't much impress me (others may disagree). I've found most of my '96 bottles are in the Drink Now stage.

        1. If stored properly should be in good drinking form. Decanter's vintage guide indicates "drink soon."

          http://www.decanter.com/vintageguides...

          Big caveat is, as NJFoodie points out, storage. At a discounter, may have sketchy provenance. But at $20 for a well made wine (from a wine maker with a restrained hand) with bottle age, it's worth taking a chance on a bottle. If it's good, I would then gamble for more, if you liked it.

          1. I've had a couple of Clos du Val cabs in the last year. 1994 and a 95 IIRC. I'd pass. These are way too long in the tooth.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Strawman

              Thanks everyone! I talked to one of the wine guys at work and he said that '96 wasn't a great vintage, so I'll probably pass and pick up a couple of bottles of something else instead.
              Anybody try Greg Norman's Cab/Merlot (90/10) blend from the Limestone coast?
              I really liked his sparkling wine, so it made curious about his reds.

              1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                I am surprised that it would even be $20. You can get current releases for a little bit more.