2013 World's End Rebel Rebel Chardonnay Reserve Napa Valley

2013 World's End Rebel Rebel Chardonnay Reserve Napa Valley

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A past Wine Access story about 2013 World's End Rebel Rebel Chardonnay Reserve Napa Valley

92pt “Garagiste” Chardonnay of Andy Beckstoffer’s Las Amigas Vineyard

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In 1996, Jonathan Maltus, intrigued by Jacques Thienpont’s winemaking at Le Pin, scoured Bordeaux’s Right Bank for vineyard land. In the heart of Saint-Émilion, he discovered a 5-acre jewel adjacent to Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Angélus, and bought it on the spot.

Thirteen years later, Maltus — now one of the torchbearers of the Right Bank’s “Garagiste” movement — earned a 99-point rating from The Wine Advocate for his 2009 Le Dôme. One year later, Robert Parker upped the ante, as the 2010 Le Dôme joined Châteaux Petrus and Cheval Blanc in the Right Bank’s 100-point club.

Given the 2010 Le Dôme’s $300/bottle price tag, most French winemakers would have sat back, basked in the critical sun, and counted their winnings. Not Maltus. Intrigued by the massive black-fruit concentration of Opus One, Caymus, and Staglin, Maltus flew to San Francisco and made a beeline to the doorstep of Napa Valley’s most celebrated grape grower, Andy Beckstoffer.

Each year, four Beckstoffer vineyards — To Kalon and Missouri Hopper in Oakville, the famous Georges III in Rutherford, and Beckstoffer’s Las Amigas Vineyard in Carneros — eke out a few tons per acre of the most sought-after grapes in Napa Valley. Maltus, as always shooting for the stars, contracted for a few tons off of each site. The price he purportedly paid? Upwards of $15,000/ton!!

What drew Andy Beckstoffer to Carneros? Chardonnay flourishes in cool microclimates where the growing season is stretched out, allowing small berries to fully mature as acids remain firm. Situated around San Pablo Bay just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Las Amigas Vineyard is cloaked in thick fog each morning. The fog burns off before noon and bright sunshine bathes the vines. Steady breezes cleanse the vines, allowing small-berry Chardonnay to mature incrementally. In the superb 2013 vintage, called “the greatest in 37 years on California’s North Coast” by Robert Parker, Las Amigas performed brilliantly, giving birth to this gorgeous new release.

Bright pale golden-green. Mouthwatering aromas of ripe citrus, white peach, and anise. Big, rich, and weighty on the attack. Despite the intense concentration, still beautifully focused. Filled with a tropical fruit mix of ripe lemon, pineapple, apple compote, and pear. While finished alcohol comes in at a hefty 14.9%, there’s no sense whatsoever of heat or over-ripeness. The wine finishes beautifully, with plenty of tension and vibrancy.

92 points from Stephen Tanzer, still the most respected Burgundy critic in the world. $49 on release. $22 today. Shipping included on 4.

Expert Ratings and Reviews

92 Points Vinous Media

Customer Ratings

Based on 41 ratings

Very good Chardonnay. In the classic style.

Classical chardonnay body, not overly oaky, very long finish.

Full Body & Creamy

Very good wine for the price

My dog is named Rebel (I adopted him at age two from a very Southern family) and this wine seemed a perfect fit. I enjoyed my first bottle and it was as lively and full of spirit as my dog.

I was hoping for a great, maybe good chardonnay. Not bad but could have done as well at Kroger.

Napa Valley 2013

After two small crops from the cooler and more challenging 2010 and 2011 vintages, California got on a roll. Both 2012 and 2013 were solid with large crops of very high quality grapes — goodbye, shortage! And as good as 2012 was, 2013 may end up the winner by a nose.

Spring was warm and dry, and bud break was early. This got the vines off to a vigorous start and flowering and fruit set went off without a hitch. A short hot spell towards the end of June into early July was the only note of concern, and the vines came into veraison early and in very fine shape.

The harvest was one of the earliest on record, beginning on August 1st for the whites. A little rain fell in September, but it didn’t seem to have much impact as sunny, drying conditions filled in after the rains and the vineyards dried out quickly.

Cool, sunny, and dry conditions prevailed through October and kept sugars and acids in balance, allowing for a little extra time on the vine for maturing flavors and phenolics and leaving a healthy, ripe, and concentrated crop ready for picking.

On the whole, about two weeks earlier than average, and a lot of growers are calling it a “near perfect” vintage — an even-tempered growing season that yielded a good-sized crop of small, concentrated berries. Beautiful weather with really no extremes and not too much rain has growers singing the praises of this excellent vintage, which produced another large crop of healthy, balanced fruit and very high-quality wines.

We give it a very strong buy recommendation, as these are wines many believe will rival or even surpass the 2012s — high praise for sure! Big, powerful reds; bright, lively, and rich whites. Pinot Noir was a particular success in most regions, with optimum ripeness and very good acidities too. The only real concern is the persistent drought conditions, with growers hoping for rains to replenish badly depleted groundwater.

Key Dates

August
Harvest starts in Napa, one of the earliest in more than 25 years

September
Light rainfall

October
Harvest complete

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