A Vertical of Forman Wines

Yes, it was a crazy kind of tasting last night in VINO, which was spearheaded by2 of the regulars.  Interestingly, we all share a real appreciation for Napa Valley’s Ric Forman and his wines.  (There is another post on this site with a picture or 2 of the vineyard itself).

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 1996 Merlot

Here was the “lead off batter”…..showcasing the same graphite/pencil lead/gravel character typically found in Forman’s red wines & therefore found in the bevy of Cabernets tasted later.  This one has a little more plumpness in the middle.  We were so impressed how remarkably youthful this wine still is.

From here we did 3 flights of Forman Cabernet Sauvignons, in a particular order, with the intent of each wine strutting its stuff in the best light possible.


FLIGHT #1 (in order–left to right)–1991, 1990, 1992 & 1995


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  1991–probably the lightest of the group in weight, but very elegant, refined, classy.

  1990–such a lovely, suave, well polished aristocrat 

  1992–I was very surprised with how youthful this wine seemed.

  1995–here was the “alpha” of the group.  Lots of vigor & structure still.




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(Right to Left)

1984–It was the weakest wine of the night.  I didn’t think, however, it was a comment on the wine….more about the storage.

1986–a VERY impressive wine still–layers of complexity, nuance, terrific harmony with youth & vigor in the core.

1985–the ‘alpha” of the group–lots of character & structure.  Wow!

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(Left to Right)

1993–a very elegant, suave (though tight), classy wine with a gorgeous gravel perfume.

1994–another classy wine with lots of the graphite/pencil lead/gravel character

1997–for many, the wine of the night!  It had everything & in all the right places.  It was also the most showy.

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2009 Chardonnay (final wine of the night)

Ric Forman’s only white wine, at least as far as I know.  The fruit comes from Forman’s Rutherford Star Vineyard, which I believe was planted in 1980.  The wine is whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented….sur lie for 7 months….aged in barrel for 9 months….and sees NO ML.  Gorgeous, classy, transparent & wonderfully nuanced….an ideal way to end the tasting!

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