2013 Clos du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1228086 92 points James Suckling

 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.  (1/2016)

92 points Vinous

 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.  (10/2015)

K&L Notes

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

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Product Reviews:

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By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/3/2015 | Send Email
Not your classic Napa Cabernet but definitely a classic Clos du Val Cabernet! This is a beautiful expression Bordeaux styled Cabernet from Napa. Long, focused, with bright acidity that leads into an array of earthy flavors. On the palate it's leather, iron, and slightly gritty; however, with tannins in check. I really think this wine will blossom in a few years and is wonderful to drink now after a couple hours of decanting with a big steak!
Drink from 2016 to 2023

By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/3/2015 | Send Email
Wow, this is impressive Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley for the money, and is actually refreshing on the palate. The wine is medium-bodied and elegant with aromatics of dark plum, cherry, currant, leather, earth and cedar with hints of toasted oak. On the palate, there is good acidity, supple refined tannins, harmonious balance and fine length.

By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/3/2015 | Send Email
Clos du Val always makes a more restrained style of Cabernet from Napa Valley. In good vintages with warm conditions, this wine can be one of the best values in Napa! The 2013 shows a wonderful balance between ripe fruit and earthy flavors. It is medium-full bodied in the mouth with a wonderfully velvety texture. The tannins are present but ever-so ripe and integrated. Great buy for under $30 Napa Cabernet!

By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/2/2015 | Send Email
This vintage of Clos Du Val is solid and consistent...as always with these guys. Great ripe fruit...cassis and red berries, an approachable tannin structure, a bit of pine, greenness and plenty of length and persistence on the finish. A great Napa Cabernet for under $30!

By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/2/2015 | Send Email
Wow! I am literally blown away just by the aromatics coming off the glass and I haven’t even tasted the wine yet. Intense aromas of blackberry liqueur, crème de cassis, black olive and spice notes billow from the glass. The palate has fantastic lift and energy with gorgeous blackberry fruit, spice and mocha notes. A perfectly balanced, supple and seamless Cabernet Sauvignon this wine is one of the greatest deals I have seen this year and is easily one of the best wines I have tasted for under $30 in a long, long time. Load up on this fantastic bargain and enjoy this treasure over the next 5 years.
Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2020

By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/1/2015 | Send Email
Aristotle. Nietzsche. Kant. Renowned philosophers, who all, in their own times and ideologies, fought to unravel life's enduring mystery. Chief among their questions... What is an amazing Napa Cabernet for under $30? That many of these great men ended their lives without their answer is tragic, considering all they had to do was open a bottle of the 2013 CLOS DU VAL Napa Cabernet! And, of course, drink it! If they had, they'd have encountered an elegant expression of black fruit, toasty oak, and currants that, while solving many of their obsessive mysteries, would simply lead to the even more enduring quandary... HOW CAN WINE BE THIS GOOD?

By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/31/2015 | Send Email
The stunning deep purple hue leads to aromas of violet, spice-box, basil and cassis. The palate is plush and integrated with black pepper, blackberries, ripe plums, cigar spice and graphite. Pleasant to drink now, or hold onto for up to 5 years.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1