Larkmead Dr. Olmo (Black Label) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
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This famous, historic estate, highly renowned in the late 1800s, sits to the north of St. Helena and to the south of Calistoga. It is a valley-floor vineyard of 110 acres that has been divided into a hierarchy of quality. The lineup of wines for now remains the same. They have had an incredible run of great successes at Larkmead, with the 2013s easily the match for the impressive 2012s.
The red wines include six cuvées from the estate vineyards, with three of them designated by white labels, while their most expensive and limited cuvées are designated with a black label. The three Black Label wines are about as good as Cabernet Sauvignon can be. The good news is that the 2014 Larkmead White Label wines will be definitely among the more attractive 2014s at high, but relatively realistic price points for world-class Napa Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines.
Cam Baker, the proprietor of Larkmead, told me that the 2013s were off the analytical charts in terms of extract, tannin levels and color density, whereas the 2014s were about 25% less on all the indices of power, strength, color and extract, but they’re still very concentrated wines." Oct 2014
Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (black label) is utterly magnificent. Towering and statuesque, the 2013 deftly balances ripeness, intensity and freshness, with suave tannins (for a big wine) and fabulous overall balance. A host of sweet red plum, pomegranate, spice, white pepper, crushed rocks and rose petal add the final shades of nuance. The 2013 is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. The black label Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from parcels in the center of the estate planted on Cortina gravel. Drink 2023-2038." Oct 2015
Winery: "The highly anticipated release of the newest wine in our portfolio, "Dr. Olmo" pays homage to Dr. Harold P. Olmo, a UC Davis professor who conducted clonal trials on Larkmead's property in the 1940's and 50's. Dr. Olmo took a selection of Cabernet from those Larkmead trials and propagated them at the Oakville station; The "Oakville Clones" as they have become to be known built the Napa wine industry in the 1960's. Fifty percent of the grapes grown for this new wine are planted on the site in which Dr. Olmo had his clonal vines planted. The 100% gravel soils where these vines are planted help produce a wine with some of the most intense Larkmead aroma and flavor profiles. Heady aromas of violets, blue fruit and graphite coupled with dusty, crushed rock and red cherry sweetness give this wine an ethereal bouquet. On entry into the mouth. the palate follows the nose but almost immediately the flavors draw back down to earth and are blended into a lean, but muscular, compact core. With time in the glass, the flavors darken as blueberries become blackberries and red cherry becomes black cherry. In the mouth, the tannins escape the core and dust the outer rim of the palate with sour, Morello cherry notes.
This is a wine of incredible flavor and textural intensity. The wine's tannins are overt and attack your palate upon release; however invigorating this may be in its youth, these sensations portend a long life ahead. The nature of this wine being its inaugural release will have us wanting to uncork and drink it at every turn, but patience will be rewarded. Anticipated drinking window will be 10-20 years after its vintage date, but if cellared properly, 30 years or more. Please decant if opening on release."
|Varietal:||100% Cabernet Sauvignon
|Aging:||17 months, 58% New Tonelleries Atelier & Ermitage
|Region:||Napa Valley, California
|Production:||Limited at 1,635 dozen
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