The Oakville AVA contains many illustrious vineyards.

Oakville AVA: Everything Collectors Should Know About This Region

What do Harlan Estate, Opus One, and Screaming Eagle have in common? All of these iconic producers own vineyards in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Oakville AVA is a small California winegrowing region located at the center of the Napa Valley that is famous for its production of top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. Some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon labels like Harlan Estate and Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnément are made in the tiny Oakville region. 

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Opus One vs Caymus wine compared next to each other

Opus One Vs. Caymus: Which Should You Collect?

As two of the biggest names in the Napa Valley wine industry, Opus One and Caymus make highly sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon blends of outstanding quality. However, this is where their similarities end. When you compare Opus One vs. Caymus, there’s a clear difference in style and flavor. In this guide, you’ll learn what the flavor differences are between Opus One and Caymus as well as the differences in value, age-worthiness, and collectability so that you can curate your ideal collection of great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 

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One of the most famous Sonoma wine appellations is Los Carneros

Your Guide to Sonoma Wine Appellations

Sonoma Valley in California has earned a stellar reputation for producing some of the most fascinating wines in the New World. An incredible array of wines is made here, from refined and elegant Pinot Noir that dances delicately on the palate to robust and hedonistic Zinfandel that’s full of unctuous fruit flavors. What makes this region so diverse? More than a dozen microclimates and terroirs are packed into this small county. There are 18 Sonoma wine appellations (called American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs for short), each producing different styles of wine. No two appellations are exactly alike. 

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2012 Colgin Tychson Hill Vineyard one of Colgin's 100-point wines.

Colgin’s 100-Point Wines Are Great Investments for Collectors

Colgin Cellars’ wines are supremely rare and exclusive. The Napa Valley winery sells fewer than 2,800 cases of wine per year to a handful of upscale restaurants and 8,000 members on its selective mailing list. Getting your hands on these complex and delectable red wines isn’t easy, particularly if you’re on the hunt for one of Colgin’s many 100-point vintages. These top-rated wines are highly sought-after among serious wine enthusiasts and tend to sell out very quickly on the secondary market. 

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The Russian River Valley wine region has an unusual climate.

Your Guide to the Russian River Valley Wine Region

If you were to rank the best American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the United States, the Russian River Valley wine region would be near the top of the list. This California AVA located in Sonoma is tremendously well-respected among wine experts, who consider it one of the greatest regions in the world for growing complex Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many of the wines made here are acidic, elegant, and multilayered. These are luscious wines that every collector should experience at least once in a lifetime. 

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Top-rated California Cabernet wines on display.

Ranking the Top-Rated California Cabernet

While you can show that certain vintages, labels, or producers are better than others using metrics like tasting scores, price performance, and bottle value, ranking the top-rated California Cabernet is still a subjective process. In this guide, we’ve identified some of the highest quality producers, vintages, and wine labels on the market today. While these rankings are by no means definitive, they are designed to help you gain a better understanding of which wines most collectors find worthwhile so you can add top-quality Cabernet to your collection.

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The best vintage year of Opus One is subjective.

What Is the Best Vintage Year for Opus One?

Designating one year as the best vintage year for Opus One is a difficult and subjective task; wines from two different years may both be fantastic in completely different ways. Some vintages are fruit-driven and intense in flavor, while others are delicate and bright. To pick the best vintages for your own collection, you’ll want to consider which of these two styles you prefer as well as whether you plan on reselling your bottles on the secondary market in the future. Our guide to the best Opus One vintages will help you narrow down your choices and build a rewarding collection of these iconic wines.

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Top producers made great wine in the best years of Napa Cabernet

Ranking the Best Years for Napa Cabernet

A few years ago, I attended a retrospective tasting event of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at a local wine bar. We sampled wines from some of the best years for Napa Cabernet, and it was easy to see which vintages everyone enjoyed the most. The 2007 wines in particular were a huge hit among the crowd. The man sitting next to me gushed over a glass of intense, incredibly complex 2007 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, saying it was one of the best wines he’s ever had. Most of the 2007 wines received similar praise; it was clearly the winning vintage of the night.

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The 2018 Napa harvest was bountiful.

The 2018 Napa Harvest: A Winemaker’s Dream Vintage

The 2018 Napa harvest ended on a high note this fall. Most winemakers across the region are reporting superb grape quality, high yields, and low sugar concentration in the fruit. Hudson Vineyards director Kelly MacLeod says, “This year, it really was a winemaker’s dream. They got to consciously choose exactly what they wanted.” While it’s still too early to tell how these wines will develop over time, all of these factors could result in a collectible, age-worthy vintage. If you’re looking for flavorful New-World wines that are well-balanced with comparatively restrained alcohol, the 2018 vintage may be your dream year, too.

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