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California Cabernet 2013 ‘better than 2012’, say winemakers

Expectations are still rising for the California Cabernet 2013 vintage, which many winemakers believe will turn out better than the already highly rated 2012.

Two bumper and high quality California Cabernet vintages in 2012 and 2013 have helped winemakers to move on from a weather-blighted 2011 crop.

And, while excitement for the 2012 wines helped to double sales at last year’s Premiere Napa Valley auction, the 2013 vintage matched that demand at this year’s auction and is now being tipped to be even better in the glass.

‘2013 was better than 2012,’ said Laura Diaz Munoz, winemaker for Jackson Family Wines’ Galerie Label, which produces 100% Cabernet from Napa Valley and also Knights Valley in Sonoma.

‘The plants didn’t struggle in 2013 as they did the year before,’ she told Linda Murphy for an article published in the California supplement of Decanter magazine’s September issue. ‘In 2012, vines had to work to form buds and ripen fruit following the cool 2011.’

Steve Peck, of J Lohr Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles, said, ‘2013 is the darling, absolutely exceptional. The 2013s have far more body than in 2011 and 2012, to go with the big tannins.’

During the 2015 Premiere Napa Valley auction, the 2013 vintage was described as ‘flirting with perfection’. The vintage may also maintain California’s recent price momentum on fine wine market indices, as examined by Ella Lister in Decanter’s California supplement.

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