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PREMIUM

Napa Cabernet 2020: Vintage report and top recommendations

After what turned out to be a difficult and traumatic growing season across California, those who were able to did manage to produce many high-quality wines, albeit often in small quantity, as our expert summary reveals. Follow advice where you can, and consider drinking rather than keeping long term.

Napa Cabernet 2020 vintage rating: 3.5 stars

The wines often show the warmth of the vintage, with rich, riper red fruits, dusty mineral notes, and burly, almost rustic tannins due to heat spikes. Many are medium- to full-bodied, compact and rather tight at the pull of the cork. They gain in volume and soften with decanting.


Napa’s 2020 vintage is very much about farming choices and location. The growing season began with a dry winter; early rains reduced crop yields. Two fires impacted the region in the middle of the growing season.

Still, the vast majority of producers who bottled any Cabernet Sauvignon harvested their grapes before the second fire, which erupted on 27 September.

Despite all the challenges, wine lovers will find plenty to admire among the wines I have recommended here. Now three years on, having had good time to settle in the bottle, these are wines to drink now and often.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top 34 Napa Cabernet 2020 wines


Individual AVA posts:

Rutherford | Oakville | Coombsville | St Helena | Stags Leap District



Napa Cabernet 2020 recommendations


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After the fires: Four iconic Napa wineries share their recovery stories

Napa Cabernet 2019: full vintage report and top-scoring wines

Other Napa Valley AVAs: top Cabernets from the 2019 vintage

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