2013 Poster Child — Anderson’s Conn Valley “Right Bank” POWERHOUSE
By now, WineAccess members are familiar with the praise heaped on Napa’s 2013 vintage from all directions. Conditions were as perfect as they come, from bud and bloom to fruit set, maturation, and harvest. In the second consecutive drought year, not a drop of rain fell during the entire growing season, and temperatures remained moderate, with a handful of 90+ degree days, never spiking into the 100s. Tinier berries than previous years ripened to full maturity with impeccable concentration, while acids remained firm.
The 2013s will go down in history as some of the best wines from Napa in decades. But don’t just take it from us: The folks who get paid to write wine reviews form a consensus. A floored Robert Parker couldn’t hold back as he gushed over the “mind-boggling,” “epic and awesome” wines he’d tasted, concluding that 2013 was “the greatest vintage in 37 years.” Wine Spectator argued that it rivals 2012, rating it 96 points overall. Galloni called the 2013s “viscerally thrilling,” and “the most profound, riveting, young wines I have tasted anywhere in the world.” Many others have followed suit.
The more we taste of the 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, the more we’re reminded of the herculean 2010 vintage in Bordeaux. While Napa’s 2013s and Bordeaux’s 2010s are generally as opulent as their predecessors, they’re also more high-toned, braced with firmer acid structure and lower pH. But with so many marvelous wines, identifying just one wine that showcased all of the sheer greatness of 2013 has proved elusive … until now.
After spending a few of hours with a bottle of the 2013 Anderson’s Conn Valley “Right Bank,” perennially the drop-dead gorgeous bargain of Napa Valley, all the critical raves we’d read couldn’t have prepared us for that kind of excellence.
High above St. Helena, where Conn Creek flows off Howell Mountain, the Anderson family has been crafting phenomenally rich and age-worthy wines since the late 1980s, drawing raves from Parker, Wine Spectator, Stephen Tanzer, and Antonio Galloni. But despite knockout performances in nearly every vintage from 1996-2012, we have never tasted an Anderson’s Conn Valley “Right Bank” so pure and opulent as any Grand Cru Classé from Bordeaux’s Pomerol or Saint Emilion. Parker goes a step further, having called this wine a “Cheval Blanc look-alike!”
Masterfully crafted, the powerhouse 2013 “Right Bank” is opaque purple to the edge, infused with crushed blue violets, roses, and bright red berry and currant notes. Voluptuous on the attack, packed with ultra-concentrated black- and red-fruit preserves, graphite, clove, and anise, finishing with superb backbone and grip. Galloni described “black cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, cloves and leather,” calling the 2013 Right Bank “an intense, dark wine,” “with serious power and depth” before tacking on a 94-point addendum.
Just $47/bottle for WineAccess members — the BEST PRICE in America — for the poster child of Napa’s phenomenal 2013 vintage and one for the ages. Only 60 cases. Shipping included on 4.