2013 Clos du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
A silky and tight red with tile, berry and dusty aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a fresh, clean finish. Refined and racy. Drink or hold.
Following my rave review of Clos du Val's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, I was curious to taste the wine again from multiple sources, which we do at Vinous from time to time. I purchased two bottles at retail, while another two bottles were sent by the winery. I encountered quite a bit of variation. The best bottle was sweet, silky and perfumed, with plenty of crème de cassis, blueberry jam, spice and new leather. I scored that bottle (purchased from a merchant in New York) 94. Other bottles presented a more red fruit-leaning profile, less mid-palate generosity and drier tannins. I rated those bottles 92. In 2013, Clos du Val made 33,800 cases (405,600 bottles) of their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a significant amount of wine. Clos du Val bottled the 2013 over a two week period, and the passage of time has resulted in some amount of bottle variation. This review reflects the lowest score among the various bottles I have tasted so far. For the money, the 2013 is still a terrific value in Napa Valley Cabernet, but the bottom line is that there is also a noticeable amount of bottle variation.
The quality of the 2013 vintage in Napa Valley is on full display in this entry-level Napa Cab from Clos du Val. In more general terms than his 95-point review for this bottling, Antonio Galloni says of the vintage: "The rising tide has indeed lifted all boats, as can be seen by the number of estates that over achieved and made brilliant wines... When all is said and done, there is little doubt 2013 will go down as one of the all-time great vintages for Napa Valley." The perfect growing and harvest season allowed grapes for this wine to be slowly picked over the full span of September and October. From the winemaker: "This wine delivers everything we are looking for from a great vintage. The color is an inky purple hue and the wine has aromas of black fruits, baking spices, dark chocolate and leather. The palate is rich and complex, full of flavors of berry pie, mocha, cedar, black pepper and vanilla toast. The texture is creamy, round and full with well structured tannins that are approachable now or will cellar well for decades." The wine was aged for 18 months in 25% new oak before bottling... 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Merlot, and 2% Petite Sirah