Recent Vintages

While it's always easy to generalize that every year is a great year in California, the fact is many years are better than others. Most years are indeed good, but some are excellent. Keeping track of this is nearly impossible except by tasting. The wineries will never admit the truth and wine merchants are the worst for this information until everything is sold out. Watching the flim-flam game they play in Bordeaux is a perfect example, but even in California they play a similar game. Luckily it's less important in California. There are a few things we know for certain. 1994 appears to be the best recent year. I'm open to input on this but at least in the Napa and Sonoma valleys the order of quality looks like this:

1997/1994/1990 -- top tier, outstanding and noticeably so (95-100 pts)

1995 close to top (95 pts))

1993/1996/1992/1991 -- typical good year (90-94 pts))

There have been no bad years where good wine could not be had.