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95pt Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Cabernet 2013

$42.00 $32.99
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Whitehall Lane’s bevy of sumptuous wines typically cause a feeding frenzy amongst wine lovers. Since winemaking legend Dean Sylvester retired last year, the ante that comes with trying to secure a bottle crafted by his award-winning hand has been amped considerably. Rest assured, this phenomenal take on Napa Cab Sauv is well worth whatever effort is needed to obtain. Dean conjures complete magic from the myriad vineyards he sources his fruit, resulting in a sumptuous, pointedly concentrated selection marked by decadent fruit, supple tannins, and a luscious mouthfeel. It’s the kind of Cab genuine oenophiles dream about when they sleep.

About the wine

Mother Nature must have known Whitehall Lane winemaker Dean Sylvester would be retiring. After blessing the viticultural legend with a beyond-epic 2012 vintage, she came right back and delivered 2013 vintage that was virtually just as mind-bending. Dean certainly makes the most of this gift and then some. He takes to the winery’s abundant network of estate vineyards, skipping out on grapes that would have made the cut in lesser years in favor of fruit whose exquisiteness seemed to push the limits of nature. His incomparable guidance of his harvest leads to an utterly thrilling expression of Napa Cab; a classically structured beauty marked by succulent ripe fruit and palate-pleasing concentration. Flourishes of currant, berries, sweet oak, and cherry surround the nose. The fruity aromatics make an opulent splash amongst a weighty mid-palate, leaving just enough room for suggestions of baked earth to emerge. Curvy tannins lead to a lengthy, well-rounded finish. This is a wine that honors a legacy, and it’s deserving of an honorable spot in any oenophile’s collection.

Winemaker: Dean Sylvester
Appellation: Napa Valley
Accolades:
95 pts, Alex Casella, WSET Advanced
Grapes86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot
Vineyards: Various Estate Vineyards
Cooperage: 18 Months in French and American Oak
ABV14.2%

About the winery & vineyards

In a sense, Whitehall Lane’s history reads like a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be assembled. Technically, the winery started up in 1979, but the loamy soils its property rests upon was initially cultivated in the mid-1800s. What’s more, the winery experienced a second launch of sorts in 1993. That’s the year Tom Leonardi bought the property and completely revolutionized its winemaking procedures. Over time, he collected vineyards like baseball cards, snapping up prime vines in Rutherford, St. Helena, the Oak Knoll District, and other prestigious Napa appellations. It’s safe to say Tom’s vision paid off. Whitehall Lane has ascended into the upper echelon of the wine world, and it has the plaudits to justify such lofty stature. The winery was named Winery of the Year by both Wine and Spirits Magazine and the Quarterly Review of Wines. And according to Wine Spectator, their legendary vintner Dean Sylvester produced three of the world’s top five wines within a five year time frame. As this splendid Cab Sauv demonstrates, the secret to all this success is deeply rooted in Whitehall Lane’s roughly 140 acres’ worth of estate vines. Indeed, Dean painstakingly traverses these undulating rows of beauty until he finds succulent grapes that can add the precise depth and character to match his exacting vision. Thanks to his world-renowned skill set, these grapes smartly coalesce into a devilish mélange of authentic Napa Cab character; one that guarantees the banner of this remarkable winery will continue to fly high for decades to come.

About the winemaker

For nearly two decades, it was common to see Dean Sylvester playing guitar at one of Whitehall Lane’s events. While his picking entertained guests, his wines perpetually blew away the masses. To say his handiwork was exquisite is a big understatement; three of his wines were deemed by Wine Spectator to be amongst the world’s top five labels in their given vintage. Dean retired from the biz in 2016 after a 30-year run, leaving behind Grand Canyon-sized shoes to fill in the process. Fortunately, Jason Moulton possesses an overwhelmingly large set of metaphorical feet. Jason’s resume is chock full of impressive stints, including stops at Cliff Lede Vineyards and Long Meadow Ranch Winery, international gigs in Bordeaux and his native New Zealand, and tutelage from viticultural titans David Ramey and Philippe Melka. His finely-tuned approach to winemaking infuses a keen sense of modern knowhow to globally-shaped traditional practices; this combination of new-thought and old-school enables him to not only honor Dean’s splendid legend, but it also allows him to add substantial clout to his own burgeoning legacy.

95 pts - Alex Casella, WSET Advanced

Nearly opaque mulberry color delivers a bounty of black, purple and blue fruits on the nose topped with spice, asphalt, mint, pie crust and fresh vanilla bean. The palate is boldly structured and sleek but has sweet black/red fruits in the mid-palate and finishes with fine but intense tannins and earth tones. This wine needs some aeration and food to pair is highly recommended if drinking today. Nevertheless, it will also continue to drink well into the next decade.  Rustic, fresh, age-worthy and top market value from a stellar vintage and single vineyard wine. Pick up a 6 pack with little risk for this price!”

 

 

 

Other Details

Alcohol percentage:
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Napa Cabernet from Whitehall Lane - A Slam-dunk Case Buy!
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95pt Whitehall Lane Rutherford-Based Cab!
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95pt Whitehall Lane Rutherford-Based Cab!
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Free shipping on 6 or more bottles - mix & match all wines!
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