2013 Napa Cabs under $65.

My home

Tasted April 27, 2016 by Loren Sonkin with 460 views


Last night was my turn to host our tasting group. Normally, we look for value wines $20 to $40 that are available locally. Last nights them was 2013 Napa Cabs so we upped the limit to $65. All of the wines were good although value has a different meaning when talking about Napa Cabernet. In retrospect, I wish we had a Buehler or some of the other lower end stalwarts for comparison. The wines were served blind over the course of a few hours. Matzoh, cheeses and other Passover goodies were served alongside.

Flight 1 (1 note)

A white Starter:

2014 Flam Unoaked Israel, Judean Hills
91 points
I saved this from our Passover Seder as it presented a good opportunity to open something a bit different. This bottle did not seem quite as good, but just by a bit. Probably more to do with it being served without food. No one guessed that it was from Israel, but many picked up the Sauvignon Blanc and Chris noted that it also seemed to have a bit more fullness (there is also Chardonnay), so I guess it has good typicity. Very pale, silvery green gold in color. The nose is slightly grassy, slightly orange peel citrusy. On the palate, a nice acidity. Lemony with some oranges. Good finish. At $28, there are a lot of nice whites out there, but this acquits itself just fine and IMO, worth the tariff.

Flight 2 (9 notes)

The 2013 Napa Cabernet Sauvignons

2013 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis USA, California, Napa Valley
88 points
Inky purple in color. The nose is a bit dusty with casssis. Slight sweet on the palate, especially the attack. Thinner in body. Chalky tannins on the finish. A nice wine but at $50, there are less costly alternatives.
2013 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga USA, California, Napa Valley, Calistoga
88 points
Very disappointing. The groups last place wine in a runaway. Mine too. That said, its not a bad wine. In fact, its good and enjoyable. $53, and way under-performed plus the expectations were a bit higher. Inky purple in color. Slight cocoa and black raspberries on the nose. Soft. Black raspberries on the palate. Tart finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
2013 Newton Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered USA, California, Napa Valley
93 points
I liked this more than the group. Inky purple in color. Its very tight at first. With air it really shows it stuff. Not a monster in style but very nice cassis on the nose with dust and slight earthiness. On the palate, this has a great texture. very tannic. Black raspberries. It needs time but has a lush deliciousness today. Still, a few more years should really bring this together.
1 person found this helpful Comments (4)
2013 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
94 points
This bottle was opened at noon and allowed to breather in the cellar. Poured around 8:00. The groups and mine WOTN with five out of 8 having it in the top 2. Inky purple, shimmering. The nose has cassis, and dark chocolate dust. Very nice texture. Black raspberries. The dark chocolate carries thru to the palate. Firm tannins. Nice acidity. Long finish. Needs time but really delicious today.
2 people found this helpful Comment
2013 Titus Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Inky purple in color. The nose is dusty with fresh cut lumber, spice and cassis. Nice texture if slightly thin on the finish. Cassis on the palate. A bit bitter and clipped on the finish. Its good, but not at that top level.
2013 Peter Franus Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Inky purple in color. THe nose has cassis, slightly woody with a slightly sour note on the nose. Made me wonder if it had some malic acid left. That sour note did not carry thru to the palate which was nice. Tannic. Black raspberries. good acidity. Nice finish.
2013 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Trent put this in as a bonus bottle. This was a bit disappointing as we all hoped for more. It was outstanding but given the scores and price, we wanted more. The bottle was opened and decanted at 1:00 and then double decanted back at 5:30. I hate to make excuses, but it is probably a bit too young and needed more air. That said, it finished 3rd and got 2 firsts and a second place vote for its not like it was a failure. Inky purple in color. The nose has milk chocolate, cassis, and some blueberries. On the palate, this is nice. I marked down seamless (this was the only wine) texture. Black raspberries, slight milk chocolate, tart acidity. Tannins. Long finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
2013 Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Inky purple in color. The nose has big black raspberry fruit . Some chocolate. Opulent in style. The palate matches. Big and juicy black raspberry fruit. delicious. some tannins but really drinking great now. This had 3 first place votes and was the groups #2 WOTN because it had one 8th place vote.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
2013 Soda Canyon Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Cabby USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
This was the least expensive wine on the table. It stood out from the others. Not as a bad wine, as it was quite good. But, that it lacked the depth or concentration of the others. Rather, it had a certain quality like a wine that one might serve at a BBQ or party but that was really good. The nose has black raspberries and slight spice. On the palate, this is sweet and jammy but not too over the top. Delicious. At $30, it is priced fairly I think. Kind of a hokey label but I liked it.


As it was at my home (so I did not spit) and I had not had time to eat dinner, I really felt the alcohol both last night and this am. Still, as a group the wines showed well and at least proved you don't need to spend $100 a bottle for excellent Napa Cab.

© 2003-20 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem