Dalla Valle Cabernet 2013
Varietal: Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley
The 2013 vintage, which fell in the second year of an extended drought in California, produced wines with remarkable concentration, aromatic brightness, and a strong sense of place. On our vineyard, which sits several hundred feet above the valley in the eastern hills of Oakville, both the Cabernet Franc and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes arrived at the winery with an intense character, and great varietal definition. In the winery, the grapes seemed to extract quickly, with loads of color, and ample tannins. Even going straight to barrel the wines seemed fully formed, though with a very firm tannin profile. The Cabernet Sauvignon offering from our Oakville Estate is dazzling in its purity, depth, concentration, and balance. The intensity of this vintage shows immediately in the wine, with its black-purple hue and notable viscosity. The fruit arrived at the winery in pristine condition, a relatively light crop of small, flavor-packed berries. As is the case with all of our wines, the winemaking is decidedly simple: berries are destemmed, the fruit is soaked cold for a number of days. After a slow, controlled fermentation—which retains fruit character and gently extracts tannin—the wine is macerated on the skins until we feel the tannin character is just right. In 2013, it did not take long for us to feel the power and structure of the vintage. The resulting wine went directly to barrels, where it aged for 22 months, before being bottled without fining or filtration. The final blend— Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot—is phenomenally dark in color, and while it is rich in tannin and extract, the texture is silky, polished and long. In its youth, the wine is showing notes of mocha, cassis, black cherry, clay, and smoke. On the palate the fruit and spices are very generous, even at this stage, and these flavors crescendo on the finish, with ample acidity helping lengthen the impression. It is a classic vintage.