The perfect 2013 Vecina offers up notes of pen ink, scorched earth, espresso, blackcurrant liqueur and blackberries. It is a fabulously great wine, with supple, well-integrated tannin, decent acidity, and a skyscraper-like mouthfeel, with extraordinary purity and richness. This is an amazing wine to drink over the next 50 years, although I would probably suggest cellaring for five or more at present. The five separate single vineyards that Bill Harlan has under long-term contract continue to perform at first growth quality levels. They generate between 500 and 600 cases of these single-vineyard wines that all represent distinctive and separate micro-climates of Napa Valley. The culled out barrels that don’t make the cut are blended together for a wine called Matriarch, which in itself is a terrific offering. Last year I touted the brilliance and drama of the 2012s, which are strikingly beautiful, and the otherworldly 2013s, but now we have the fruit-forward and luscious 2014s, and although I didn’t taste them, I suspect the 2015s will reach a new qualitative pinnacle for this extraordinary visionary project of Bill Harlan and his winemaking team, led by Bob Levy. (RP)
Aromas of plums and terracotta with flowers and fresh herbs such as lemon grass. Full body. This young red envelops your palate with polished and velvety tannins that turn to ripe fruit, light smoke, cedar and chocolate undertones. Dusty texture. Salty and savory. Superb intensity. Can't wait to drink it on release and onwards.
Remarkably complex, focused and structured, with a rich, fruity entry supported by fine-grained tannins and seductively creamy, mocha-tinged oak. Taken as a whole this is an enticingly complex and ageworthy effort. (JL)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)