(2013 Vintage) vintage gave us near perfect growing conditions which led to an early harvest. Spring conditions were warm and dry, which led to an early bud break and very even set. Aside from one hot spell at the end of June, temperatures remained moderate throughout the spring and summer. With only eight inches of rain from January through June, the vines had less green growth and an earlier turn to fruit development. Early October saw a major north wind event, bringing dry air off the arid northern California interior down across the coastal areas. Humidity during October 3–7 was very low, single digits, with strong winds buffeting all parts of Napa. Thirsty vineyards prompted harvest to accelerate even more than usual. In seven days, we brought in about 24% of our fruit. Harvest of our hillside fruit on Mount Veeder began September 14 and ended October 19, well ahead of our usual schedule. As harvest progressed, we became more and more aware that the color and intensity of Bordeaux reds would lead to a truly phenomenal vintage.
Top notch wine, a fav for over a decade. Consistent. This is generally a wonderful wine year in and out. One of the early added lines at Franciscan. I've bought this in CA many times and many vintages, drank there and often bring it back to Maryland. Wine Enthusiast says it best: "a big tannic wine that is built solid and tight that showcases it's mountain origins. Big, big flavors of blackcurrent, vanilla and toast. Smoke and spice carry to a long finish. Built for aging." We got some prune with this 01 and the winemaker aims for blackberry, mocha, black cherry, mineral and anise. Chewy is a great way to describe this wine. I keep buying it. Just bought all the 06 in stock at Ralphs while in CA as it was on sale price plus 30% off for 6 or more net was about $20. A screamin deal. Reviews are all over the place, from 85 to 96. I think it is a solid 89 to 91 and is worthy of laying down. Tonight, New Years Eve 2011, we are starting with this 01 from my cellar, brought back in 03 and stored. Drank one a few months ago and it was awesome, a 93 or 94. This one from the same batch has a half dried cork (base OK) which happens with these sometimes. Seems to "seal" at the surface. This one didn't age as well but still a nice wine. 85/100 - Wine Spectator in 04 87/100 - Connoisseurs Guide to CA Wine in 06 but also gave it a 95 in 05 so unsure of that. Cellar Tracker has 36 reviews with a median 90 score. Higher scores the longer stored but it is time to drink the 01's and earlier. Wine Enthusiast rated it a 91 in 05. I agree.
Wine Spectator(1998 Vintage) Rating: 86/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 10/31/01