2013 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1303836 92 points James Suckling

 Intense ripe berries, stones and fresh leather on the nose. Full body, chewy tannins and a powerful finish. A little extracted. Needs three to four years to soften. Try in 2021.  (5/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Freemark Abbey’s generic bottling from Napa, is a brilliant example, and at $50, a heck of a value. It is also one of their larger cuvées at 24,332 cases. A blend of 75.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.9% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this wine spent nearly 26 months in oak. Opaque purple in color, it exhibits beautiful blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with hints of white chocolate, allspice and tobacco leaf. It is rich, full-bodied, seriously concentrated, and has 2013's relatively serious structure and tannic clout. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30 years. Freemark Abbey remains one of the legendary Napa Valley wineries. In spite of what many feared when it was acquired by the Jackson family of Kendall-Jackson, things have only gotten stronger and more consistent under their leadership, with the continuation of chief winemaker Ted Edwards. Since I have been tasting these wines over the last few years, this has been a consistent producer of high quality wines in both red and white. (RP)  (10/2016)

90 points Decanter

 75.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.9% Merlot, 5.9% Petit Verdot Tasting notes: Sweet, ripe and rich on the nose and palate with abundant fruit. A forward and fruit driven wine. Needs time.  (9/2017)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 From three vineyard sites, this wine benefits from the skill of its blender, who composed lemon and lime fruit crispness with more sultry full-bodied creaminess to the texture. Apple skin and herb complete the picture, finished off by a lovely accent of subtle spice. (VB)  (4/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Nicely structured, with vibrant acidity and firm, gripping tannins that hold the core cherry, plum and blackberry flavors in place, ending with a long, persistent finish. Drink now through 2027. (JL)  (6/2017)

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Price: $39.99

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Staff Image By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/7/2017 | Send Email
This is my pick for entry-level Napa Cab any day of the week--precisely because it doesn't drink like entry-level Napa Cab. The Freemark Abbey performs as well or better than other producer's single vineyard and prestige cuvees. It's dark and smoky with an underlying dark, sweet cherry component that just hits all the right nerves. It's structured for aging, but smooth enough for tonight, with a light touch of oak, and beautiful fruit expression. Anybody who wants a $30 Napa Cab should really consider jumping to the Freemark Abbey, it's a huge step up from anything else on the shelves at its price point.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/29/2017 | Send Email
A mix of French and American oak adds some interesting notes of spice, vanilla and dill to the ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors in this big and bold wine. This is rich but very balanced with all that fruit tempered by hints of toast, savory herb and tobacco on the dark, dry finish. This is as good as many Napa Cabs that sell for twice as much.

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/20/2017 | Send Email
Another massive value—in a land where those are about as common as free tastings! I was blown away at how much this wine has already formed up and eased into its body and power. Dark, black-fruited notes dominate the nose, with pitchy dried meat, wet blacktop and driving concentration. The palate becomes more plush and juicy, with a pleasing core of both red and black currants, sweet oak, tangy olive and laurel notes. Large-scaled and full of umami savor, this is what the 2013 vintage is all about in Napa.

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 (%): 13.5