Very elegant and fine with real tannin tension that drives the subtle fruit at the finish. Full yet very refined and linear. Stoney, mineral core to this with an undertone of bark, wet earth and mushroom. Lightly savory. Endless finish. Purity and focus. Better in 2019 but very fine now. Harmony in a bottle.
From the Stags Leap property, about 400 cases of the flagship wine, the Futo 5500, are produced. The 2013 Futo 5500 is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, aged 19 to 20 months in Taransaud new oak barrels. A fabulous nose of violets, blackberries, sweet black cherries, blackcurrants and flowers is followed by an elegant, pure, full-bodied, seamlessly constructed beauty. What’s interesting about this wine is its incredible elegance and seamlessness, tasting like the haute couture of the vineyard. It is a fabulous, and of course, there’s no Cabernet Franc in it, unlike the Oakville, and has a much higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink it over the next 25-30 years. (RP)
The 2013 5500 is a quintessentially Stags Leap wine. Striking in its aromatics, the 2013 is surprisingly silky and impeccably polished from start to finish. Rose petal, lavender, mint, red cherry and plum are front and center. Soft, supple and beautifully expressive, the 2013 has softened considerably since I first tasted it from bottle a few years ago. This is an absolutely stunning wine. In particular, I am deeply impressed with how finessed the 2013 has become over time and how well the oak has integrated. (AG)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)