MACDONALD vertical 2013-2016

Bottega Saint Helena

Tasted December 7, 2019 by csimm1161 with 163 views


A fantastic dinner at Bottega with Alex Macdonald and fellow CT'ers Cristal2000 and Scballfan. Thanks to all for contributing! Awesome juice and awesome company!

Flight 1 (4 notes)

2013 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
100 points
100 points ALL DAY LONG. You want a To Kalon that can stand the test of time, this dude right here is the one to put your money on. The most gorgeous monster ever, wrapped up in a tight, super grippy blackberry and black raspberry core. So much power and intensity without being edgy or abrasive. A super chewy mid-palate married perfectly with a sophisticated and focused frame. Likely one of the best wines I’ve had in my life…and it’s still evolving. Some chalkiness on the finish somehow lands just right so that it carries the stuffing without being overbearing. It’s such a push-pull delivery that it almost creates its own energy as it wakes up in the glass. This was decanted and placed back in the bottle for approximately 8 hours before consumption. Over the course of dinner, it really kept over-delivering as time went on. It’s a wine that can last decades… And a To Kalon of all things that can last decades. It shames some of the late-picked, over-ripened candy TKs I’ve had (and loved before). Ideally hold and be rewarded, or decant the ever-livin’ crap out of it and feel free to experiment with it now…assuming you have a ton of them to spare (said no one ever). 125 points.
7 people found this helpful Comment
2014 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
97 points
The most inviting and “palate-compelling” right now, the 2014 Macdonald showed wonderfully expressive dark, black fruit, with some violets and asphalt adding to the profile. Surprisingly silky, rounding-out perfectly on the finish. Balanced and about as flaunting as I’ve had from one of these wines, this happy little wine was showing up its siblings in terms of its immediacy of pleasure-delivery. I personally found the 2013 and 2016 versions to be more complex, but this 2014 was an all-night sipper that totally satisfied the flavor-hound in me but also hit some perfect sophistication elements to keep the cerebral conversation going. 97+ points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
2015 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
99 points
The 2015 was similar to the 2013 in many ways, except that the 2015 took a bit longer to shed some of its frame and allow the fruit to come forward. It was highly mineral-driven and the least expressive upon initial opening (though it had been decanted and put back in the bottle for several hours before dinner – it clearly needed even more air time). But once it worked its way around an open glass for a couple of hours, it started to sing a beautiful tune. What started out black, foreboding, and a bit bitchy at first, turned into a super captivating wine. Although it stayed fairly no-joke, it balanced itself out with some super chewy dark fruit that made for more exuberant consumption. A serious and exciting black licorice component rose out of the ashes as well, complimenting a last-minute note of fresh cut flowers (violets). A “seriously delicious” wine, quite literally. 99+ points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
2016 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
100 points
Rich, chewy, perfumed, and about as exciting as they come, the 2016 Macdonald is a shake your money maker kind of experience, grabbing a hold the palate and unloading gobs of dark, black fruit; reverberating, deep, unctuous, and just plain ‘ol awesomely delicious. Blackberry, scorched earth, tar, bitter chocolate, asphalt, and a floral note to precisely cut the richness it all the right places. Anise and dark spices emerged as well. A very similar experience to last year’s sample, this has even more rock-and-roll going on with it than back in November of 2018 when I had it. Awesome juice. 99-100 points.
5 people found this helpful Comments (3)
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