2013 Acumen "Mountainside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1293623 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors’ Choice.* This new project from the heights of Atlas Peak involves Steve Matthiasson as both viticulturist and winemaker. It shines in bristling acidity, dusty tannin and a beautiful floral aroma of violet. Notes of chocolate, fig and cigar sit atop a pillowy, complex structure, while vanilla lingers on the finish.

17-18 points Jancis Robinson

 The 2013 was made with a majority of estate fruit from the Attelas Vineyard [on Atlas Peak] and a small portion of sourced fruit from around the valley floor Meaty aromatics squeezed through with notes of blackcurrant. The palate carries a fresh herbal element throughout, flecked with iron and loads of palate stimulation. Mouth-watering and delicious with the substance of Cabernet and the classic expression of Napa mountain Cabernet. Delicious with nice length. A nicely delivered example of Napa Mountain cabernet that retains fresh, old Napa character with a bit less rusticity in the tannin but still that rugged herbal flavour and a sense of exposed, raw iron that is a pleasure. Refreshing, satisfying. Does a good job at delivering the pleasure and regionality of Napa character while avoiding the excesses of the category.

K&L Notes

Winery Notes: "This full-bodied wine opens with aromas of violets, lavender, fresh rosemary, and espresso. On the palate we find flavors of black cherries, red plums, mountain blueberries, mission figs, and chocolate covered orange peel with sweet clay, freshly turned earth, and pencil shavings giving way to ripe, mouth-coating tannins on the long and powerful finish. An elegant and well-balanced combination of fruit, tannic structure, and acidity, this is our finest Mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon to date."

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Price: $49.99
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Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/14/2018 | Send Email
I love almost everything that Mattiasson touches, the wines always exude elegance, structure, and purity of fruit. That being the case I was excited to find out that the Acumen project was headed up by him and I was not disappointed in the slightest. The 2013 Mountainside is everything a fan of old-school Napa style could hope for from one of the best vintages on record. Floral and herbal mountain fruit with layers of chocolate, cassis, and vanilla are carried by a beautiful layer of acid and tannin. For those looking for a more opulent modern style, this may not be the one, but true lovers of Napa Cabernet will not be disappointed by this wine.

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.
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