Inky and dark when first poured, Chris Camarda’s top selection in 2013 feels massive at first pass; it’s mostly Cabernet drawn from the old-vine blocks at Champoux. With air its flavors turn a corner, as much savory as dark-fruited, leaning toward crushed pink peppercorn and ground sumac, with textures that seem to reflect that vine age in the finesse of their suave tannins. Those tannins carry a dusty minerality that is saturating but not heavy in the least. Cellar, then serve with beef tenderloin.
The 2013 vintage of Sorella is once again based primarily on cabernet sauvignon, which is a strength in this hot summer, as this grape tended to ripe later and really had a chance to develop more complexity over the last few weeks of hang time. The Sorella blend this year is seventy-eight percent cabernet sauvignon, ten percent merlot, six percent cabernet franc and the remainder a mix of malbec and petit verdot. The bouquet is deep, pure and nicely reserved in profile (a rarity in the 2013 vintage), offering up a complex constellation of cassis, dark berry, espresso, a touch of tobacco leaf, dark soil tones, cigar smoke, currant leaf and a discreet framing of spicy oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and rock solid at the core, with ripe, well-integrated tannins, excellent balance and grip and a very long, nascently complex and very classy finish. This does not share the touch of opulence of the other Andrew Will 2013s, as this has the sophisticated structure and purity that was the hallmark of the previous vintage here. By the way, this also is listed at 14.5 percent octane, but carries its alcohol very well indeed. A great wine in the making. 94+
Complex aromas and flavors of blackberries and blueberries with hints of coffee beans and chocolate. Full-bodied, layered and flavorful. Some black-olive undertones.
Made from a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot that spent 18 months in barrel (35% new), the fabulously concentrated, rich 2013 Sorella has the deepest color of the lineup; it has ample black and blue fruits, graphite, bouquet garni and spring flower-like aromas and flavors. Possessing bright acidity, full-bodied richness, solid mid-palate concentration and ripe tannin, it has the balance and purity to offer pleasure today, but should be at it's best from 2020-2033. (JD)
Bright dark ruby. High-pitched aromas of blackberry, violet, sweet spices and bitter chocolate. Superconcentrated and suave, showing superb acidity and energy and a sexy oak component to the broad flavors of sweet dark berries and mocha. Finishes seamless and very long, with serious ripe, horizontal tannins and a late hint of white chocolate. All of these wines get around 40% new oak, with Taransaud being Chris Camarda's preferred barrel supplier. (ST)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)