Vintage 2013
Wine Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Rutherford
Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor
This Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates the complex flavors achieved by blending vineyard sub-blocks of one grape varietal. Clonal selection, trellising, sun exposure, mesoclimates and soils influence the layers of nuance in this elegant wine’s aromas and flavors. Its juicy, briary blackberry and cassis flavors are supported by brawny tannins, while savory herb and sweet oak spice notes weave through the ripe fruit expression. The 2013 vintage character is evident in the wine’s firm tannin structure, so while approachable today with an hour decant, this wine will certainly be even more complex with five to 10 years of bottle aging. Enjoy this classic wine with grilled steak, roast lamb and other full-flavored entrées.

Tasting Notes

A stunning example of the Rutherford appellation, this wine shows the power of the 2013 vintage. “It’s huge, densely textured with super-saturated fruit expression,” says Winemaker Domenica Totty. “The highly pigmented grapes gave the wine its deep, inky purple hue. The multilayered aromas and flavors explode with brambly blackberry, cassis and black plum intermingled with nuances of earthy forest loam, freshly roasted coffee beans and cherry pipe tobacco. I find a subtle floral element that reminds me of fragrant purple iris, and bittersweet cocoa that I describe both as a taste and texture how the Rutherford tannins feel in my mouth.”

Vineyard Note

We selected the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from our Beaulieu Vineyard Ranch No. 2 in Napa Valley’s famous Rutherford AVA. The Cabernet Sauvignon blocks were replanted in the late 1980s and early 1990s to clones 4, 6, 7 and 5197. All of the clones are budded to one phylloxera-resistant rootstock, 03916. Several trellising methods are employed for optimal sun exposure on the fruit, including vertical shoot positioning, lyre and Geneva Double Curtain. The alluvial loam soils vary according to slope on the Rutherford Bench, with the deepest, most gravelly soils nearest the Mayacamas Mountains.

Vineyard Notes

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.

Winemaking Notes

Immediately after hand harvesting the clusters, we brought them to our nearby winery in Rutherford. We destemmed and lightly crushed the grapes and then cold soaked the must (crushed grapes) for two to four days for gentle flavor extraction. During the 10- to 12-day fermentation, we pumped over the cap to mix the flavor-rich skins into the juice. Malolactic fermentation rounded the acidity, while barrel aging softened the tannins and added sweet oak spices. We choose 100 percent new barrels to complement the powerful Cabernet Sauvignon flavors.

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