Library Vintages Wine Tasting

The Most Unique Napa Valley Tasting Room

While we are temporarily unable to offer the Library Tasting Experience given the extra precautions our team is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we hope to offer it again in the near future. In the meantime, we invite you to visit us for a socially-distanced Appellation Tasting.

The Library Tasting Experience is the signature tasting experience at Freemark Abbey—and one closely tied to the identity of a historic Napa Valley winery. This Cabernet adventure is one of the valley’s most unique tasting opportunities.

Of the many Napa Cabernets produced by Freemark, the single-vineyard wines from the Bosché and Sycamore Vineyards in Rutherford best represent its efforts over the years to capture the essence of Napa Valley terroir.

Since the 1970s and 80s, these bottlings have been carefully curated in the winery’s famed library. Having access to them in a Napa Valley tasting room is nothing short of amazing.

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Freemark Abbey 1986 Cabernet Bosché Cabernet Sauvignon library wine tasting

History in a Glass

It starts at the sleek, oak table in the Library Room, a tucked-away section of the Historic Tasting Room. The partially glassed-in downstairs space displays decades’ worth of Bosché and Sycamore vintages on two walls. Led by a knowledgeable Freemark staff member over 90 leisurely minutes, the Library Experience is a trip back in time.

The lineup of six wines starts with a Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet that is either 20 or 25 years old, poured next to a Bosché Vineyard Cabernet of the same age. Next comes a 10 or 15 year-old pair of Sycamore and Bosché. The flight then concludes with the current release Cabernets from these two great Rutherford estates.

A recent offering included 1999 Sycamore and Bosché, followed by the 2009 bottlings from each vineyard. The current release 2015s rounded out the flight. Tasted oldest-to-youngest, or vice versa depending the guest’s preference, it’s a fascinating exercise for the palate, whether novice or expert. The 10 or 15-year increments of bottle age take the guest back in time and demonstrate what the wine might have tasted like when it was a young release.

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Freemark Abbey Winery Napa Valley library room wine cellar

And a Napa Valley Wine Mystery

Like the Appellation Tasting offered to walk-in visitors, six wines are included in the Library Experience. But there’s a bonus seventh wine—the “mystery in a glass”—offered as a personal selection by the staff member conducting the tasting. They might describe this anonymous Napa Valley wine as “something high-end with a fun story.”

The choice could be almost anything in Freemark Abbey’s portfolio: a single-appellation Cabernet from Spring Mountain or Oakville; a blend, such as Josephine Red Wine or Restoration Red; or even a single-vineyard Merlot from Bosché or Stagecoach, a gorgeous property up on Atlas Peak. The objective is mainly some added fun for the guest, but sneaking one of these current red wines into the Library Experience is a reminder to its visitors that Freemark Abbey is a winery with a foot each in the past and the present.

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Best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvingon wine club