Wine Spotlight: Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1997

Rometti is proud to introduce a new series called Wine Spotlight.  Many of our readers have enjoyed our Rometti Limoncello cocktails and the great cuisine recipes from all over the world, however no meal would be complete without some amazing vino.

This week’s Wine Spotlight is not just on an exceptional bottle of wine from the past but also about a winery / family that is consistently producing some incredible wine in California’s Napa Valley.   It was in 1993 that the Leonardini Family took control of the Whitehall Lane estate with a commitment to produce award-winning wines.  They have achieved nothing short of that, with Wine Spectator / Enthusiast ratings of 90+ consistently throughout the years.

It was about 10 years ago a family friend introduced me to a bottle of wine that truly put to the test my underdeveloped palate.  It was a bottle of 1997 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.   This vibrant dark ruby colored wine was aged for 28 months in French and American oak.  The nose explosively hits you with blackberry, raspberry, while the taste has great complexity.  The creamy smoky sweet oak develops with flavors of cherry, plum, along with lingering depths of seemingly limitless flavors. It is why this big and bold wine is one to remember.  1997 was the vintage of the century in California and in many parts of the world, it’s no wonder this bottle was ranked #3 on Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2000.  If you are able to find one, prepare to spend over $100 and be ready to drink.

Years since, my pallet has evolved and I’ve continued to enjoy Whitehall. I picked up a case of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (WS 90) in late 2010 hoping to hold, but bottles flew off the rack within 3 months, all in good company at least.

On your next trip to Napa, I urge you to drive north and find this gem in the valley.

Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve 1997

Rometti Score: 95

Wine Spectator: 91 Points

Wine Enthusiast: 90


Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyard 

1563 South St. Helena Hwy St. Helena, CA 94574 Ph.800.963.9454


One thought on “Wine Spotlight: Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1997

  1. Thank you for your kind words about our Cabernet Sauvignon and our winery. I’ve posted a great image of your limoncello on our FB page today, and am now a fan on your page. Please let me know when you plan to visit Napa Valley again. We’d love to host you and friends for a tasting of our current releases. We’ll also need to pull out some favorite older vintages for you!

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