Sullivan Family Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
By Scott McLeod
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Sullivan Napa Valley Estate Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
GRAPE: Cabernet Sauvignon
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Napa Valley
SPECIAL DESIGNATION: Cellar Selection
This is a spectacular wine that has all the elements of being one for the ages. 2013 is regarded as one of Napa Valley’s all-time greatest vintages and Wine Enthusiast Magazine Winemaker of the Year McLeod is calling this perhaps the greatest wine in the history of Sullivan Winery. And McLeod knows great wine as he made Rubicon for Francis Ford Coppola from 1991 to 2009. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and 100% from a great Rutherford Estate. Sullivan dates back 37 years, and their marquee vineyard site is located immediately adjoined to Beckstoffer’s famed vineyard. I first sampled this wine in barrel with McLeod in the winter of 2015 and again after bottling in the early spring of 2015. Having tasted many vintages of Sullivan Rutherford Cabernet, I could certainly understand how he was beaming over how special this wine was with its incredible taste profile and top notch pedigree. While I enjoyed the 2012 vintage, this is a more lush and intense wine and the one I want aging in my cellar to enjoy on special occasions. It is beautifully composed with deep flavors and lush tannins. Ideally this wine should be cellared for a year or two but it’s so beautiful that it's hard to resist now. The nose is highly stylized with a nice mix of compelling red and black fruit. A cornucopia of layered and packed fruit including blackberry, black cherry, crème de cassis, and violets with dark chocolate, a cinnamon spice box and toasty vanilla oak. It spent 17 months in French oak, 60% of which was new. A mounting and delightful finish that caps off a dynamic taste experience. It will age quite beautifully for another 10 to 15 years.
By Sullivan Family Vineyards
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Blend: 100% - Cabernet Sauvignon
Cases Produced: 2200 Cases
Suggested Retail Price: $100.00
These vineyards are at the intersection of two gravel streaks that run through Sullivan Vineyards on west Galleron Lane. Our Cabernet is planted on a westerly gravel seam washed down off of Spring Mountain. The eastern corner of the vineyards is on a gravel riffle of smaller, finer cobble that was influenced by sedimentary forces long ago. This terroir results in a wine that is finer in tannin, more powerful in structure.
-100% Rutherford Appellation
-All lots were kept separate during harvest, fermentation, and aging.
-All grapes were picked early in the morning, hand sorted, and cold soaked up to 4 days before fermentation.
-The wine was drained from tank straight to barrel once fermentation was complete, with the skins being pressed and kept separate.
Consistency and uniformity are the two words that best sum up the 2013 vintage. A warm dry spring brought on early bud break, and allowed for even flowering. The early start permitted for vigorous canopy development and optimal berry set. Warm sunny weather allowed the grapes to stay on the vines as long as necessary, which allowed optimal development of color and flavors. Overall, 2013 was a truly exceptional growing season in Rutherford and throughout the Napa Valley.
The 2013 vintage presents with black and inky purple hues. Deeply concentrated with bright fruit aromas of candied cherries and a hint of sweet vanilla. The palate is full and rich with flavors of Bing cherries and Rhubarb with a touch of spice and driving acidity that provides length and focus to the palate. The balance and depth is apparent with the supple tannins and sweetness of fruit that will allow this wine to be enjoyed now and will continue to evolve with additional time in the cellar.
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.