1989 Napa Valley - The Wine Independent

1989 Napa Valley

1989 Vintage Ratings:


Red wine vintage rating: 88

1989 Top Three Napa Valley Wines Today:


Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Signature Reserve

Shafer Hillside Select

Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon

What started out bright and cheery for Napa Valley in 1989 ended with a harvest mood of doom and gloom. The spring and summer were suitably sunny, with moderate temperatures throughout. However, mid-September was blighted by heavy rains and cloudy conditions, triggering Botrytis/grey rot in some areas. Those that waited until dry and sunny conditions once again prevailed in October made palatable wine. However, dilution and less than optimal ripeness, especially affecting loamy valley floor vineyards, meant not many wines have withstood the test of time. This said, I’ve had some exciting 1989 Napa Cabs from the later ripening, freer draining hillside/mountain sites, including Chappellet, Shafer Hillside Select, and Dalla Valle.