Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

1969 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 3:32 pm in Corkheads.

This wine is a stunner. I had the pleasure of consuming three ounces of it last night, Oct. 19, 2009,  at a Freemark Abbey library tasting at Boulevard in San Francisco.

I spent about 15 minutes just taking in its color and aroma. Its nexus was the shade of brick, and the rim was gold like honey. It was crystal clear; not a drop of sediment.

When I tipped my nose in the glass, my heart almost melted: chocolate mint with hints of caramel. On the palate, the wine had a lot of complexity – even fruit. I tasted dried cranberries, licorice, and again, that eucalyptus. It was soft, a little lacy and reminded me of an old Bordeaux.

The other tasters in the room agreed that the wine even harkened back to a different style and era of winemaking in the Napa Valley; perhaps a window into, in its infancy, the area approached fruit and hang time (the grapes were picked at 21 Brix). It’s certainly the oldest, and one of the best Napa Valley wines I’ve ever had.

Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

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  • BrunoBarolo

    Sounds yummy !! I just got to sample a marvelous example of 1969 B.V. George Reserve a month ago. The bouquet of cedar, dill, olives, and black currants was most haunting. On the palate it matched most closely. Tcheletscheff said something along the lines of ” God made Cabernet Sauvignon, but the Devil made Pinot Noir “, did he not?

  • Jessica

    Haha. Did he? I’m not sure. But I absolutely love the olives that come up in some of these aged Cabernets. We tasted a 1987 Cabernet Bosche in the Freemark Abbey library tasting. It was all green olives in the nose and cedar on the palate. Gorgeous and green, like the “old” days.

  • xj00477936

    Bought 2 mixed cases of ’97 cabs in winter of 2000 – worked my way thru the last of them about a year ago and the last bottle was from Freemark Abbey – was a little worried as the ’97’s did not last as long as most had thought they would and saw a couple of less-than-generous reviews of this bottle on various websites at the time…..but this wine BLEW AWAY the other 97’s I had bought – just an amazing combo of cedar, eucalyptus, chocolate blah blah blah – a quinessential CA cab. Many Napa producers would be put to shame if their wines were to go up against this one on the QPR test – going to back up the truck when the 2007 comes out………

  • jyadegaran

    Good call. I know, I absolutely loved it as well.