The 2013 vintage marks the 18th anniversary of these stunning wines. A true testament to the rich history of BV, and shepherded into production by our renowned winemaker Jeffrey Stambor, the 2013 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon is available in limited quantity.
This very limited bottling of 2013 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates the unique characteristics of this single, outstanding clone during an extraordinary vintage. The powerful dark-fruit aromas and classic Cabernet flavors of black currant, blackberry and dark plum intertwine into an almost deep fruit compote style with savory notes of black olive, black licorice, espresso, sweet anise spice and toasty vanilla oak. The mouth-pleasing tannins are present, lush and smooth, guaranteed to broaden as the wine ages, but are incredibly focused and linear when enjoying the wine in its youth. This wine is opulent, concentrated and pronounced, exhibiting a muscular strength and intensity while being incredibly balanced. While enjoyable now, this wine will continue to develop complexity in the bottle.
The 2013 vintage even surpassed the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A very low-rainfall winter was followed by a dry, warm spring and nearly ideal summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, excellent fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest fostered intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines. Truly an extraordinary vintage in which the wines will need time to open up and age if enjoyed early, but will have tremendous potential for allowing the wines to age and evolve.
In the 1880s, UC Davis professor Eugene Hilgard planted clone 6, also called the Jackson clone, at the university's field station at Jackson in the Sierra Foothills. It was abandoned until the last few decades, when it was rediscovered. In 1980, we began a 14-year series of trials in conjunction with UC Davis, to identify Cabernet Sauvignon clones best suited to our Rutherford Bench terroir. Two clones (numbers 4 and 6) were ultimately selected for grafting to rootstocks planted in the well-draining, alluvial fan soils of our estate vineyard. As a component of our Georges de Latour and other reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, Clone 6 has notably small loose clusters and small berries that yield highly concentrated, distinctive flavors structured by muscular tannins. Often referred to as our mountain fruit on the valley floor, this creates a Cabernet that is very concentrated with more structure and tannin.
At our state-of-the-art winery, dedicated to the production of our Reserve wines, we hand-sorted the destemmed berries to retain only the highest quality fruit. Cold soaking of the must and gentle punch-downs in open-top fermenters mixed the flavor-rich skins with the juice. Upon completion of primary fermentation, we pressed and transferred the wine to new French oak barrels for in-barrel malolactic fermentation and aging. Because of the uniqueness of the expression of this clonal selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, we treat this wine as a special-lot or single-vineyard wine.