2013 Rockpile "Buck Pasture" Red Wine
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
22 months in oak barrels. 100% French
Dried berry fruit, crushed rock and sweet oak are the first aromas to greet the senses. The fruit is dense on the palate, giving way to notes of cigar box and loamy earth. The weight of this wine is immense, coating the entire palate in velvety tannins. The finish is a dichotomy of power and finesse: Broad, full tannins are balanced by seamless acidity. The wine has a long life ahead of it; drink from 2017-2025.
Being that the 2014s are still resting soundly in barrel, the current comparison is between the 2012s and 2013s. Both are truly exceptional, but the 2013s are showing greater focus and more intensity. The tannins are fine grained and the wines are more linear than their broad-shouldered predecessor. Having all five varietals at our disposal is an amazing luxury when crafting this wine. This vintage in particular harkens back to its Bordeaux roots.
In 25 years, when we look back on the 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages, I believe the succession will go down in history as the greatest three-year stretch California Cabernet has ever seen. It is nearly impossible to say that one is better than another. A more accurate statement is that all three vintages are outstanding, yet showcase different nuances of the varietal.