2013 Dana Estates "Helms Vineyard" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $475)

SKU #1296557 100 points James Suckling

 Unique aromas of citrus fruit such as tangerines and oranges which combine with plums, black cherries, and blackcurrants. Lemon rind, too. Full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that give the wine a precise and focused finish that lasts for minutes. Laser-guided. A savory and subtle, minerally finish. This redefines the greatness of Napa Valley wine and California.  (9/2016)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 57-acre estate vineyard includes the Helms Vineyard in Rutherford, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and usually produces small quantities of less than 300 cases. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Helms is sensational. Its opaque purple color, which is common among the 2012 and 2013 Bordeaux varietals in Napa, leads to a spectacularly flamboyant and aromatic nose of earth, graphite, blackberry and cassis. The wine is rich, full-bodied, and again, concentrated, pure and dense, with sweet melted tannins nicely integrated, along with the French oak (about 100% new). This wine has a good 30+ years of upside to it. 97+ (RP)  (10/2015)

95 points Vinous

 Dana's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Helms Vineyard opens with exquisite, floral-laced aromatics. Rose petal, mint, hard candy, sweet red cherry and cinnamon are all nicely delineated in the glass. Plump, forward and generous, the 2013 Helms is surprisingly approachable today for the year, but there is plenty of stuffing and structure underneath. (AG)  (10/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Though massive and extracted, this is also approachable, as the core of dark berry, cedary oak, dried herb and tobacco leaf gives this a distinct flavor and textural presence. (JL)  (11/2016)

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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.
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.
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.