Monday, August 8, 2011


Bettinelli Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

When I stopped in to the Left Coast Wine Bar and Gallery in Glendale - across the street from the Americana at Brand shopping mall - I only intended to take a look around.  Sure enough, a bar and some artwork downstairs and a jazz loft upstairs with piano and amp and some room for lounging.  Nice enough place.  Then I glanced over their by-the-glass menu and spied a '98 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  I sat down.

It was a Saturday afternoon, and happy hour was underway with this 13 year-old Cab going for a mere four dollars per glass.  How could I not?

The '98 Bettinelli Cab was aged 16 months in American oak and recorded a 13.8% abv number.  The Oakville wine is sudsy and beginning to show a little brown on the edges.  It's tannic and somewhat thin upon pouring,

The wine did open up a bit and the bite became less bothersome.  It was relatively smooth after 20 minutes or so.

A chestnut honey aroma on the nose was identified by my wife, and I was able to spot the raspberries on palate all by myself.  Unfortunately, it's not very complex and has a rather tart finish.

Larry Bettinelli co-founded the vineyard in 1990 with Mike Browning.  Browning now appears to serve as the distributor of Bettinelli's wine under the Barclay & Browning name.

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