Following the 2011 Neal Family Cabernet Sauvignon, which was an impressively great wine given the challenging vintage, we now have the 2013 bottling which is even better, coming from the far superior harvest year. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (somewhat of a rarity in Napa these days) from the Neal Family Vineyards in St. Helena (41%), Howell Mountain (29%) and Rutherford (30%), all of which are 100% certified organic. The final wine was aged in 51% new French oak barrels for 21 months. Winemaker, Mark Neal notes that "this bottling reminds us of some of our best vintages with comparisons to 2001 and 2002. Coming from a warm and therefore ripe vintage, this year's Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of cocoa, cassis and dark berry fruit plus hints of incense, earth and cedar notes from new French oak. As is our tradition, this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with very dark color and a nice concentration of tannin that carries with it a firm, complex mouthful of flavors. The cherry (and surprisingly blueberry fruit) flavors sweetened by a chocolate character make the texture very mouthwatering. We hold the wine in barrel and in bottle longer than most Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon until convinced the texture has evolved and is ready to drink. This is a wine that will be greatly enhanced with decanting at a young age as evidenced by showing even better the day after opening. Additional cellaring will further improve the complexity and structure."
The Neals have been farming some of Napa Valley's greatest sites for over 40 years (doing so organically since 1984!) and producing their own wine since 1997 so they know how to spot a great vintage!