Wednesday, October 1, 2008

E&J Gallo Stefani Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

What's worthwhile at the current ANBL Liquidation sale? While they don't have the 2000 rated, WineSpectator rated the Gallo Stefani Vineyards Cab consistently at about 88 from '94 through '98. At $25 even a 88 is reasonable value and occasionally (as with the Bocca di Lupa) an 88 turns out to be spectacular. So I so I thought I'd give it a try.

I thought this was a solid mature cab with soft tannins and reasonable fruit, though without a lot of complexity or striking character. WineSpectator gave other vintages about a 10 year drinking window, but I don't think I'd hold on to this much longer; it's definitely not over the hill yet, but the fruit is muted and it hasn't picked up a lot of complexity.

Kelly liked this quite a lot better than I did: "Cedar, raspberries, cherries, leather, tar, roses, and veggie lasagna follow through on palate, with addition of licorice. Lots up front on palate, and long. Very firm tannins throughout." (Veggie lasagna is her giveaway for cab). We tasted this with the Nipozzano (Friday's review) and she thought the Stefani had more complexity, while I felt the other way.

Bottom line, if you like cab, this is a wine worth picking up from the liquidation table.

Price: $24.99
Value: 3/5(N) - 4/5(K)
Score: 88 (N) - 89 (K)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Tasted: Sept 2008
ANBL UPC: 085000208076


  1. I agree with Kelly this is a great wine. The fruit and acid balance were very good and for a 8 year old California Cab it's still standing, I enjoyed it with some BBQ prime rib and thought it was an excellent match. I'll buy some more and see how long it will last.

  2. Interesting. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just not a fan of Cab. I know that Cab (under-ripe Cab?) has an astringent flavour that to which I am unusually sensitive. I suspect it is the flavour that is generally described as capsicum or green pepper, though it doesn't taste that way to me - I just find it offensive. I didn't detect any of that in this wine, but maybe there it was at low enough levels to be undetectable while still interfering with my appreciation of the wine. Or maybe I'm just not a fan of Cab.