2013 Kuleto Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
The 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has an uncommon purity to its aromas. Fresh ripe berries or plums, fresh bay leaves, fresh meat or blood (iron?), the first smoke from a fire – each of these primary aromas vie for attention when first poured into the glass. It will be fascinating to see how they integrate as the wine ages.
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cab Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
20 months in 40% new oak, 100% French, racked twice
Like vintage 2012, vintage 2013 was ‘perfect’ by nearly all grape-growing standards in that yields were slightly above average, the weather was evenly warm, and fruit moved toward ideal ripeness without the fits and starts of the preceding two vintages. This produced wines with tremendous fruit flavors and textural depth. If you’re wondering if we in the Napa Valley ever tire of ‘perfect’ vintages, the answer is “not at all”. Putting together the 2013 estate Cabernet Sauvignon blend posed a challenge due to a wealth of riches from such a vintage. Every lot was of such high quality that it was hard to high-grade any wine. It wasn’t until we tasted barrel by barrel that subtle differences in quality emerged within and among the wines. Our goal for the ‘estate’ blend is to create a wine that broadly represents Kuleto Estate in a given vintage. Barrels were selected from 12 different lots of wine that originated from 24 different blocks on the property. The hallmarks of the vintage were tremendous fruit perfume, classic balance, and great length. Without the typical heat spikes, there were no over-ripe aromas, and the wines retained their strong varietal and location-driven characters all the way into the bottle.