2013 was possibly the greatest Napa and Sonoma vintage of our era, and it is fascinating to taste what could be accomplished. We sometimes think of Cabernet Franc as the hipper, smarter cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon, providing just as much power and punch, but with more aromatics and complexity. In 2013, the stage was set for greatness. Aromatics of blueberry, black cherry, cassis, Venezuelan dark chocolate, black pepper, bay and hot stones beckon you to keep your nose in the glass. The palate is a powerhouse of flavor and authority with dense, rich, concentrated Napa flavors, but with the freshness and balance that only 2013 could achieve. The tannins are abundant but superfine, providing focus and clarity, promising a great future in the cellar.
The 100% Cabernet Franc cuvée, the 2013 The Prior, comes from multiple sources and was aged 21 months in 100% new French oak. Sweet forest floor, blueberry, black raspberry and currant notes are intermixed with some camphor and subtle background oak. The wine is dense, rich, full-bodied, and displays exuberant fruit intensity and richness. The tannins are velvety and the overall impression is one of creamy opulence and extravagance. Drink it over the next 7-10 years.