By Jonathan H. Newman*
Long Meadow Ranch 2013 Rutherford Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
GRAPE: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Rutherford, Napa Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.50%
There is so much to love about this very special wine. Long Meadow Ranch is a respected and iconic producer in Napa Valley’s Rutherford appellation. And this is their Reserve Cabernet from the best lots on their Estate from the spectacular 2013 picture perfect vintage. And this wine has such a tremendous taste profile for a young wine that tastes beautiful now and is going to age into some kind of spectacular wine. The family is impressive and they have a very enlightened vision for the winery. They are adamant about sustainable organic farming and next to the property they own the Farmstead restaurant which is a mainstay on Napa’s Route 29 known for fresh, organic food. I recently sat down with winemaker and proprietor Chris Hall, who is smart and soft spoken but very passionate about his Winery and excited about how great the wines are from his amazing 2013 vintage. In fact, Hall believes that 2013 could be one of the best vintages in the history of the Winery. The Long Meadow Ranch Estate in Rutherford is part of the original land grant from President Ulysses S. Grant and was acquired by the family in 1989. The Rutherford Reserve Estate Cabernet is quite beautiful and deserves more cellaring for maximum enjoyment of this elegant and most distinctive wine. It was aged for a year in French oak, 50% of which was new. An enticing nose of elegance and complexity including dark cherries, roses, and blueberries with chocolate and cinnamon. A nicely perfumed and fruit forward palate of plum, cherry, dark chocolate, blueberry, crème de cassis and vanilla with cinnamon and coffee on the finish. Made in a suave and silky style with a lush mouth feel. Smooth tannins with a pleasing finish. Pair with some of the signature dishes from Long Meadow Ranch’s Farmstead Restaurant including Steak Tartare with Tabasco and Capers, Filet Mignon with smoked Hollandaise sauce, meatballs with caramelized onions and tomato marmalade, chili with Rancho Gorde piquito beans and smoked St. Louis Ribs. Enjoy 2015-2025. 964 cases were produced. Sampled in the summer of 2014 in barrel and after bottling in the fall with consistent tasting notes.
By Long Meadow Ranch Winery
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Region: Rutherford, Napa Valley
Vineyard: Estate Grown
Varietal: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Malbec
Cooperage: Aged in new and used (50/50) French oak
Food Affinities: Perfect with LMR grass-fed highland beef, lamb, or roasted game.
The aromas are richly layered with notes of minterality, cocoa powder, aromatic red fruits, and baking spices (cardamom with hints of cinnamon and clove). The palate weight expands after entry to yield a balanced and supple echo of the aromas. Sweet cherry, ripe plum and roasted sweet chilies add interest and depth to the full range of flavors. The finish is juicy with a floral note that enhances this fruity and vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2013 vintage was a superb vintage. The unusually long season, moderate temperatures without a major heat spike, and lack of rains made for one of the best vintages in recent memory. An early spring bud break allowed our vineyards to get a two-week start on the vintage, and the lack of frost meant that yields were excellent while the longer growing season allowed for full ripeness. The wines from this vintage will be outstanding in quality.
Long Meadow Ranch
Owned by Ted, Laddie, and Chris Hall, LMR employs an integrated, organic farming system, using simple, sustainable methods. Each part of the Ranch contributes to the health of the whole. Vineyards and wine making, olive orchards and olive oil making, cattle and horse breeding all work together in complementary fashion, as do the egg-laying poultry flock and the organic vegetable gardens. All crops are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.