Barlow 'Barrouge' Napa Valley Calistoga 2013

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Barlow 'Barrouge' Napa Valley Calistoga 2013
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Country USA
Region California
Appellation/Sub-Region Napa Valley - Calistoga
Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Conventional

All of the members of the winemaking family behind Barlow Vineyards are farmers at heart. Since purchasing their land in the Napa Valley in 1994, they have farmed it all themselves, using their combined talents to produce exceptional wines. Warren Barlow Smith, a salesman, and Jeanne Smith, an accountant and financial manager, along with their son Barr Smith, a Geology major, and daughter-in-law Ann Smith, a Botany major, produced a small amount of estate grown cabernet sauvignon originally only intended for their family and friends to enjoy. Winemaker Art Finklestein tried it and was so impressed he urged them to sell it instead, and they quickly sold out. They have been producing remarkable wines since that fateful first year, and this cuvée is no exception. Barlow’s estate vineyard sits at the base of Dutch Henry Canyon, not far from Duckhorn’s legendary Three Palms Vineyard. Sediment has washed down from the Vaca Mountains over the course of millenia, resulting in complex soils that lend themselves perfectly to Bordeaux varietals. 2013 was an outstanding vintage (hailed by Robert Parker as potentially the best in 37 years!) The 2013 Barrouge is 82% cabernet sauvignon, with the remainder made up of merlot, petite verdot, and cabernet franc. A wonderfully expressive nose of blackberry, black raspberry, and violet yields to a palate that is broad and plush, with more blackberry, raspberry, and plum notes. A whiff of smoke and hints of spices, cocoa nibs, and leather join firm but well-integrated tannins on a lengthy finish. This gracefully balanced bottle will please both the Napa cab lover as well as the Bordeaux aficionado.