Robert Parker 99+
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvée is probably the qualitative equivalent of the 2012, but slightly more backward and coiled tight. Coming from three vineyards that Robin Lail uses in Napa Valley: one in Calistoga, one in Oakville and the other on Howell Mountain. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in about three-fourths new French oak. Just under 1,000 cases are produced. The 2013 comes across like a Napa version of the famous Château Montrose in Bordeaux’s St.-Estephe. Earthy notes intermixed with chocolate, blackcurrant liqueur, grilled meats and spice are all present in this opaque purple wine. Graphite and floral notes are also present. It is full-bodied and ripe with beautiful purity and superbly integrated acidity, alcohol, wood and tannin. This wine needs another 4-5 years, as it’s less dramatic and flamboyant compared to the 2012. It should evolve and age beautifully for 30+ years.