Napa Valley Cabernet: A Brief Look into the Evolution of its Style (Short Documentary)

July 9, 2014

This short documentary explores different views on the evolution of the style of Napa cabs. Producers and winemakers from some of Napa's historical properties speak about the shift in style the region’s wine has seen in the last 60 years. From the "structured, focused and elegant" cabernet of the ‘50s and ‘60s passing through the colossal jam monsters from recent years, all the way to the cooler, newer string of vintages like 2010 or 2011, winemakers and proprietors comment on their views as well as their preferences when it comes down to the style of Napa cabernet. 

The film encapsulates the views of the most ardent defenders of low-alcohol and low pH, the moderate pragmatics who tacitly accept the climate of their vineyards yet fight for balance, as well as those who throughout the years have followed the trends. Despite your views concerning the style of wine, what is important here is the diversity that James found in his recent visit to Napa (click here for the tasting report).

Styles today seem to go in every direction; the location of the vineyards and the different techniques and technologies available have made it difficult to pinpoint one general over-arching style. Yes, you can find powerful and monolithic wines, but you can also find wines where finesse and elegance are keystone, or site-specific wines that communicate soils and microclimates. It seems that the essence of Napa is in its heterogeneity, in how owners and winemakers are experimenting trying to find and define their own style. 

Watch the short documentary to learn about the different views on the history of Napa's most celebrated variety.




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