2013 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • Oakville

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Community Tasting Note

  • LiteItOnFire Likes this wine: 96 points

    April 22, 2021 - Not notes as it was a big lineup only impressions more around the decanting then the high complexity this wine delivers in spades. 1 of 7 wines tasted with a very good diverse lineup of Cabernet, Grenache, Merlot and represented by Napa, Washington, Italy.

    This is a monster! I have never personally decanted a wine this long and was a bit nervous as I have always always preferred for wines to open up in my glass (when time is not an issue) if I am unfamiliar with the vintage, winemaker or wine or (in this case the later) as I feel a tight wine’s structure will benefit (tannins soften) and perhaps the wine opens much more but at the same time you lose some fruit plus other primary components and many times can cause the acidity and tannins to become more pronounced instead of better integrated.

    This wine needed it big time. It wasn’t until at least five hours in that it started to budge and shows it’s goods. The ‘18 we had a couple weeks prior I am sure went through a similar transition. We started drinking it at the 9 hour mark and finished the last sip around 12 hours. It has amazing purity with impeccable balance that allows you to effortlessly pick out the individual flavor components as it glides to a very long enjoyable finish. Blackberry, blueberry, dark raspberry with a mineral and clay component that seems to hit a symphony of pleasure. So well done! For me, as good as this is, I will go against the grain and state for my palate the 2018 is the winner by a nose.

    4 people found this helpful 2,250 views


  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    4/29/21, 8:58 AM - Great notes Lite! These wines trade at a premium so you'll have to tell me the back story on this one. I have yet to touch the ones in my cellar. Maybe the 10 year mark? What will the world be like in 2026?

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    4/29/21, 9:01 AM - Nice note! The 13 from them needs so much time. It's fabulous, but it really is a 50 year wine that probably drinks best in 25. I personally don't think you touch one for 7-10 years. Very different from 16 or 18 IMO, which are still monsters, but you can get at them.

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    4/29/21, 9:26 AM - This is for sure a long term cellared wine and will need more time before drinking (this is my only one and paid aftermarket prices as I was really intrigued after the ‘18 tasting) in a more prime window. If I had others, I wouldn’t check-in until at least 2025 but from my experience the 2013 vintage in general (although ‘18 seems to follow a similar question mark) is fickle and the need for flavor & structure integration and the canopy of flavors to hit together with the silky velvety mouthfeel may not align as well as once predicted (not speaking to MacDonald just a more general statement around the vintage).

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    4/29/21, 9:30 AM - MJP- I have only had two of their wines, and only made the buying list this year so others can provide more feedback but I would suggest like other well built non-2013 vintage wines, these probably start drinking well at 7 years and develop very nicely from there. 2018 is also a question mark based on my vintage experience to date.

  • WineBurrowingWombat commented:

    4/29/21, 10:34 AM - Oh great notes Lite! Thanks on the very useful info on how long it took to really let this show. It's crazy to me how this will drink best as Cristal says in 25 years - limited experience on my part of course.

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    4/29/21, 10:50 AM - There are very few wines I would wait 25 years to drink as I will never let a wine that I love like Macdonald last that long with me drinking through them beforehand especially on wines that are so enjoyable now. Kind like my note to drink the next one in 4-5 years from now... I bet that will be spectacular window to both drink and get a better view into its then current and future drinking window.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    4/29/21, 11:21 AM - Agree LIOF, the chances of waiting that long are slim to none. The reason we are buying Napa and not BDX wines. That being said, this is one of a very few that I think will continue to get better that many years in the future. Most Napa wines are starting a downhill descent after about 10.

  • WineBurrowingWombat commented:

    4/29/21, 11:31 AM - Man I love this knowledge, thank you!

  • patespo1 commented:

    4/30/21, 11:28 AM - I agree with Cristal 2000, I plan on saving at least one bottle for the 20-25 years mark and hopefully more. The first time I tried this wine I immediately thought it would last forever. I shared these thoughts with Graeme MacDonald and he agreed. I think this may be the longest lasting of the vintages that I have tried. Just my opinion, but I wouldn't open one until at least 2025-2030

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