Thursday, March 17, 2016

Eagle Glen Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Eagle Glen Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Traveling on the road to a remote city, I picked up this label not found in our major market. The shelf-talker (those tags or small placards that merchants put on the shelf that promote a particular wine) boasts of a Wine Enthusiast 91 point rating leading me to wonder if this might be the beginning of the '13 vintage releases boasting huge QPR's (quality-price-ratios) from the highly rated vintage, so I picked it up to try. While it was great value and nice drinking wine with my left over steak dinner from the other night, it wasn't the blockbuster I thought it might be. 

I held back part of this bottle to try (and share) when I got home and its lack of firm backbone or structure resulted in a much more diminished wine than two others, the HazyBlur and the El Nido, with remnants of each also left over from last weekend. Both of these big bold forward vibrant wines were still awesome with their big body, structure and massive fruit - especially the vibrant blueberry, even more pronounced and still popping from the Hazyblur. The difference was quite stark against this lesser wine. 

Recall, how I've often written about saving a portion of the bottle to try over time, the next night, the night after and perhaps later, to see how it reveals itself. As shown here, this works best with more complex, bigger more structured and fruit filled wines.

The 2013 vintage in Northern California Napa Valley is being projected to be one of the best in decades with its warm, dry spring that enabled an early bud break, with consistent ideal temperatures through summer allowing optimal fruit development and beautiful ripening. The ideal conditions of the temperate summer continued through fall providing ample time to dry and develop longer on the vine resulting in ideal grape yields with perfect ripeness. As I have written recently, 'as all boats rise with the tide', this vintage should result in great (QPR) values at all price points, with many high achieving wines pushing the price points lower for quality wines.

This is a new brand, being only the second release of Eagle Glen who purport to source fruit for their wines from premier sites across California. This 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of lots from several Napa Valley vineyards in St. Helena, Oakville and Calistoga. While this might produce quality wines, it does not provide the 'terroir' or identity of a particular site that allows for consistency and a basis of comparison over the years.

Eagle Glen wines are distributed by Davies Family Selections, which is a broker, importer, reseller, marketing firm founded by Ian Davies, a veteran in the hospitality business, beverage, and now wine business. Since their founding in 2010, they've built a portfolio representing several emerging as well as some well known premium wines. Two of these that we've held in our cellar are Amisfeld from New Zealand, and the premium Venge label that we've collected since the 90's
While I did not give this a '91, it does provide good QPR at this under $20 price point, when discounted from its suggested price of $25. 

Wine Enthusiast in their review cite its sourcing "from a multiplicity of vineyards" and its QPR, "this wine works and is a tremendous value for the price". 

Dark garnet colored, medium bodied, moderately complex with black cherry and plum fruits, tones of floral, cassis, and dark mocha with hints of tobacco and leather with a moderate acidic/tannin finish. 

RM 88 points.