Tuesday, July 12, 2022

St Clement Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

St. Clement Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Pulled this from the cellar for midweek sipping with left over beef steak, mashed potatoes and salad.

This moderately priced Cab is from a historic Napa winery that was purchased by Beringer in 1999 to add to their broad and expanding portfolio that includes Beringer Wine Estates, Meridian Vineyards, Chateau St. Jean, Napa Ridge, Chateau Souverain and Stags' Leap Winery. 

Such is the case these days, that the large or mega producers are consolidating or voraciously gobbling up so many of the formerly 'independent' producers. Many of the brands or labels remain but their individuality is variously being diluted as it melds into the corporate or parent's persona.

St. Clement Vineyards continues to produce small lots of premium wines under the same winemaking staff, with the intent to produce the best wines possible from the available fruit. 

The use of the word premium is taken from the producer and needs some clarification. The vast majority of wines sell from under $20 - in fact most for closer to $10. Hence, the pricepoint for premium is for wines above that those levels, and the widespread use of superlatives such as ultra premium since so many wines are many times that, and many producers now have $100+ wines, and $300+ wines and above. 

Notably, this brand produces a higher priced premium or ultra-premium label, Orropas, of which we hold several bottles from numerous vintages. That rather odd name is derived from spelling the then parent company's name backwards, having been acquired and managed for a period by the Japanese Saporro beverage group, of Saporro Holdings, today Sapporo Breweries Ltd., the oldest brand of beer in Japan and Sapporo Premium, the #1 selling Asian beer in the US.

The company has five breweries in Japan, the Sleeman brewery in Canada, and Sapporo Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and most recently they acquired Anchor Brewing of San Francisco, where, from which they now manage Saporro U.S. 

For a period, the global giant diversified into the wine business, abandoning it a short time later to return to and focus on their heritage and mainstream beer business.

I would call this an standard level estate Napa Cab, above the budget or modest (sub $20), priced in the $25 to $40 range, commonly referred to as 'premium'. 

Winemaker Notes: "This Cabernet Sauvignon gives a classic example of Napa Valley, combining valley floor terroir and mountain fruit power. The grapes for St. Clement's Cabernet Sauvignon span several sub-appellations in Napa Valley, including vineyards in Rutherford, St. Helena, Mt. Veeder, Coombsville and Diamond Mountain."

Producer's Wine Tasting Notes: "The Cabernet Sauvignon gives a classic example of Napa Valley, combining valley floor terroir and mountain fruit power. An aromatic bouquet of sweet dark cherry, blackberry, plum and red berry is followed by an attractive clove spice. The bright and juicy palate intrigues with hints of mint and cocoa, and finishes with intense fruit and fine-grained tannins." 

I echo the winemakers' description above finding it accurately representative and consistent with mine. 

RM 90 points.