2013 Larkmead "Firebelle" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $150)

SKU #1248348 94 points James Suckling

 The blackberry and bramble berry aromas with cloves, walnuts and cedar undertones follow through to a full body, firm and chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Needs time to soften, but impressive backbone of tannins and fruit. Better in 2020.  (1/2016)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Firebelle Proprietary Red is a blend of 76% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. This wine shows loads of roasted espresso notes mixed with white chocolate, plum, black cherry and currant. The wine is ripe, opulent, full-bodied and a very sexy, lush example of 2013 to drink over the next 15 or more years. This famous, historic estate, highly renowned in the late 1800s, sits to the north of St. Helena and to the south of Calistoga. It is a valley-floor vineyard of 110 acres that has been divided into a hierarchy of quality. The lineup of wines for now remains the same. They have had an incredible run of great successes at Larkmead, with the 2013s easily the match for the impressive 2012s. (RP)  (10/2015)

91 points Vinous

 Deep, ripe and powerful, the 2013 Firebelle shows the richness and ripeness of the year in spades. Black cherry, smoke, bittersweet chocolate, new leather and dark spices meld together in the glass. Today, the 2013 comes across as a bit heavy and roasted, with plenty of depth but less in the way of finesse... (AG)  (10/2015)

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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.

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.


- 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.