1997 Lokoya Mount Veeder - An Underrated Gem
When I first started collecting wine, most believed that Robert Parker’s opinion on Napa carried much more weight than James Laube of Wine Spectator. Laube had a reputation of playing favorites and was not completely objective.
That said, Parker was a bit underwhelmed on Lokoya’s 1997s, while Laube loved them. Although Parker never went back and rerated the 1997 Lokoya’s he bestowed greatness on subsequent vintages, touting Lokoya as one of the great producers of Napa Cabernet on multiple occasions.
Well, 26 years later, I have to agree with Laube on the 1997 Lokoya Mount Veeder that he rated 98 points back in 2000, and believe today, Parker would upgrade the 93 point score he also gave back in 2000.
An absolutely stunning nose of sweet back fruit, subtle cigar box and hints of damp earth roared from the glass. It was almost unnecessary to drink this gem, as I just wanted to smell it all night. On first sip, it was so balanced and pure with layers of fruit and acidity that you only get from mid 90s Napa, before producers starting raising the alcohol levels in 2001.
With a finish over a minute and paired with grilled New York steak, this was a virtually perfect wine and a great example of the aging ability of Napa cabernet. Laube certainly got this one right!
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