2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a big, opulent wine that presents with a deep ruby color and loads of ripe black fruit—Cassis, cherry, currant and plum skin. The barrel notes are not subtle either, with tobacco, truffles, and cedar coming through on both the nose and palate. But despite all that show, it’s a very composed wine. When contrasted with the sultry, contemplative Matthews Merlot—a right bank inspired Bordeaux blend—the Cabernet is powerful and showy, but still easy to approach and easy to drink. This wine will hit its prime drinking window at around 5 years and continue to show in its youthful form through 12 or even 14 years.

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"Reviewed last year as the Tenor Wines 1:1, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon was moved to the Mathews line to maintain Tenor’s single varietal mission. Don’t let any of that stop you from checking out this fabulous wine though. Made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot that spent 21 months in 85% French oak, its healthy ruby/purple color is followed by an incredibly polished, silky, seamless Cabernet that has lots of crème de cassis, sweet oak, crushed flower, and graphite aromas and flavors. Made in a relatively forward, elegant and charming style, it still has the density, balance and tannin to drink well for 10-15 years."

94 points - Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

Tasting Notes

Ripe plum skin, black currants and a sweet and smoky spice. With some air the wine picks up some weight, adding black cherries and spice. The palate is thick but weightless, with great composure and sweet, silky tannins.

Scores & Reviews

"Well-defined and gracefully complex, with plum and bay leaf aromas and sleek flavors of black cherry and mineral, all framed by refined tannins. Drink now through 2027. 319 cases made."
- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

"The aromas lean a bit into the green but not in an untoward way, with notes of parsley and other green herbs in front of pencil lead and black fruit. The dark-fruit flavors bring a sense of restraint and polish that carries throughout the finish."
- Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

"Bright ruby-red. Inviting aromas of cassis, redcurrant and dark chocolate. Sweet, savory and densely packed, with its intense dark fruit flavors complicated by bitter chocolate and violet nuances. Conveys an impression of energy that belies its 3.89 pH. Finishes suave and long, with gentle tannins. Winemaker Aryn Morell told me that this wine was sterile-filtered through the gentlest micro flex filter available on the market, and the only one of its kind in the Northwest."
- Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Wine Facts

Appellation:

Columbia Valley

Vineyard(s):

Stillwater Creek, Hedges Family Estate

Varietal Composition:

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot

Aging:

100% New French oak for 20 months

Alcohol:

14.8%

Cases Produced:

319

Drinkability:

2016 – 2027

Trade Materials

Additional Information about this vintage

Vineyard Philosophy: We do not set targets for our overall production with this wine, and so we are free to aggressively constrain yields and berry size in the vineyards. We are meticulous about our site choices and about how they are tended year over year. Our goal is to maximize concentration and intensity without losing the suppleness and drinkability that we love in WA cabs.

The Vintage: 2013 was the warmest vintage since 2003, but it cooled off just in time for harvest. The resulting wines were less likely to tip over into overripe flavors or high alcohol levels, and picking proceeded at a normal pace. Growers let canopies spread a bit more than usual and adjusted crop sizes to achieve the kind of balance they wanted. With a cooling trend that started in mid-September, red wines come with ripe flavors, moderate alcohol levels and vivid acidity.

Winemaking Philosophy: This wine gets a bit of extra love and care in the winery, not because of preference, but because that’s what is required to produce the profile we’re looking for. The grapes are sorted—often twice—to remove any extra material and stems, because clean fruit produces clean, fruit-driven wine. We ferment in stainless and concrete, leaning towards concrete because it helps us add depth and detail and balance the ripeness with smoothness. It gets barreled for 20-22 months in barrels custom designed for this wine. Then it’s blended blindly before going back in the barrel (as a blend) for another year or so before being re-evaluated and finally bottled. This process creates the most complete cab-driven blend we can make and epitomizes the power and grace of Bordeaux varietals in Washington.

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