Seavy Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

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Seavy 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon

This bottle, one of the biggest scares I had in my heat-exposed wine collection, also turned out to be one of the best cabernets I’ve had from California in quite some time. I sought this wine out and brought it back from California for a special occasion, but ended up drinking it right after finding my damaged wine. Popping a great bottle on a normal or crappy day is highly underrated! For me this was much more impressive than the 1986 Dunn Cab I had a few months ago because it was more integrated and seemed to hold together a lot better on the palate.

With this wine I found a nice confluence of Bordeaux-like aromas of graphite and mineral and great California fruit such as cassis and cherry on the nose. Under all of this was a touch of mintyness. The palate was extremely smooth and elegant, with tons of black currant. What struck me most about the wine was its purity and expression, a phenomenal feat for a 13 year old cabernet from Napa, many of which do start losing some of their aromatics with that much age. A beautifully structured wine proceeding from a very enticing attack to a full and multi-layered mid-palate and a velvety silk-like finish. This was tasting absolutely brilliant when I opened it but it had the tannins and the fruit to last a few more years.

Excellent to Excellent+
$80 at North Berkeley Wine Merchants


  1. Frank
    July 5, 2012

    Reading about your wine tragedy reminded me of my own. Just last week , I found out my entire wine collection (only about 20 bottles), had fallen victim to violent temperature fluctuations.

    Since I got into wine last year, I’ve put together a diverse portfolio of wines, including an Insignia, ’94 Spotteswoode, a 1er cru Volnay, and some Barolos . I put them away in a cooler upon people’s advice in order to age them properly. Unfortunately, recently there were numerous power outages around where I live, Redondo Beach, and even though the room temperature never got above 72F, the frequent and drastic temperature fluctuations caused air to be sucked in and pushed out of the corks and all of my wines were oxidized. It was a very sad moment. I was able to partially heal my sorrow with a nice bottle of Beringer Private Reserve and Ducru Beaucallou. Yet, I’m still very hesitant about starting another collection.

    Question. I assume you have rebuilt your collection since. What’s your method of storing them now?

  2. Shea
    July 5, 2012


    I definitely feel your pain. I have rebuilt my collection. What I do now is rent cellar space with a commercial wine storage company. They have very sophisticated equipment including backup power supplies. They also carry insurance on all the wine stored in their facility against flood, earthquake, theft, power interruption, etc. They charge about $3.50/case per month, which I am happy to pay given what happened to me last time. I keep a cellar on hand at my place for short term drinking wines and wines I plan to open soon but the bulk of my collection is in the commercial cellar. There must be one of these services in the L.A. area. I hope this helps.


  3. Frank
    July 5, 2012

    Thanks so much for the fast response. We do have many facilities like that here. I just need to look for one that accepts small quantities.

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