By: Ryan Woodhouse
K&L Staff Member
The 2013 vintage is well known as one of the best that northern California has ever seen. The wines are typified by fantastic balance between opulence and structure, ripe enough to show just how explosive and powerful California Cab can be but also endowed with muscular tannin structures that will provide many decades of longevity in the cellar. The problem is, with so much hyperbole and gushing praise from the critics, wines from this heralded vintage are hard to come by and pricey, especially from big name properties. However, the brilliance of Cabernet in 2013 wasn't confined only to the expensive wines of marquee properties in prestigious regions like Oakville and Rutherford. The growing conditions were such that many neighboring regions, such as Lake County, also flourished, making once-in-a-generation type wines. So, that brings me to this stunning bottle of wine. Perhaps a name you've not heard of before (I hadn't), but a quick study helps you understand why this wine is so fantastic. Hawk and Horse Estate is a small, 18-acre, biodynamically farmed estate in the prime Red Hills AVA of Lake County. The area is home to vineyards of Napa Valley heavyweights such as Andy Beckstoffer, who was early to recognize this region's ability to produce world-class Cabernet. Hawk and Horse winemaker Dr. Richard Peterson is something of a legend in his own right. However, you're probably more familiar with his daughter, winemaking superstar Heidi Barrett. Dr. Peterson was the original winemaker at Screaming Eagle before handing the reins to his daughter. Prior to that he was hand-picked by the legendary André Tchelistcheff to take over as head winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyards when André retired. After many decades of making wine at some of the most iconic properties in Napa, Peterson chose the Red Hills of Lake County to plant his own estate. After eight years in the bottle, this wine is just starting to hit its peak drinking window; the rich, dark plum and cassis fruit is complemented by leather, dry tobacco, red earth, and graphite. Still a dense, powerful wine, but with the tannin structure now becoming more supple, while complex bottle development notes are now easing into the mix with the concentrated, dark, brooding fruit. The fact we can offer this stunning bottle of 2013 Cab at this price is just remarkable. The wine has come directly from the property, so the provenance is perfect. If you enjoy powerful, mountain-grown, dark fruited Cabernet, and you like the idea of someone else aging it for you, this is not to be missed. We went deep on this one to get the sharpest price possible, but we still don't see it lasting long given the huge discount, pedigree, renowned vintage, and sheer quality of what is in the bottle. Grab a case, grab two, drink it anytime over the next decade.
Top Value! Drink from 2020 to 2030