2013 Kuleto Estate Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
Like vintage 2012, vintage 2013 it 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”. Perhaps no other variety expresses the special nature of our estate like Cabernet Franc, and vintage 2013 produced what may be the finest version of this wine to date. While Cabernet Sauvignon from Kuleto Estate can be sinewy in its tannin profile, the Cabernet Franc is always plush and rich. The small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is merely an artifact of co-fermenting a small bit with the Franc in order to fill up a small open-top fermenter. The 2013 Cabernet Franc is loaded with deep fruit, the smell of baked goods, has an oily richness to the mid-palate, and lingers on the palate.
96% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
17 months in 67% new French oak barrels
For winemaker John Clews, there is a mutual understanding that all but a small percentage of the winemaker’s work is done in the vineyard. Keeping the vineyard’s serpentine twists and exposures in mind, the best-suited varietals for each block have been selected. Working with the land, not against it, the individually terraced lots are not oriented to one central direction, but instead are planted to maximize the benefits of their natural location.
Kuleto is one of the most complex and diverse wine producing properties in the world. Located in the volcanic mountains of eastern Napa, our estate features 761 total acres and 82.9 acres of vines perched along ridges and clinging to steep hillsides. Our soils, exposures, elevation changes and sub-climates are so complex that we’ve delineated our property into more than 100 micro-blocks. Each of these tiny plots is treated as an individual vineyard with varieties, clones, rootstocks, density, trellising and farming methods tailored specifically to the site.
Only 119 cases produced