2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
I have been working with McGraws since 2003 when they had just planted the vineyard and we have learned much over this period, walking the rows and observing the vines. We are doing a much better job of farming now than when we started, especially with refining our irrigation and I’ve settled in on what I think is the best area of the vineyard for the Loxton wines. This area is also farmed differently with different irrigation blocks and different pruning and trellising. It also helps that the new vineyard manager is the neighbor Dino Amantite (co-owner of the Pagani Ranch that has been farmed by his family since the 1880’s). The Paganis just happens to be the neighbor here at the Loxton Estate. There is a nice symmetry to it all, I could walk to the McGraw vineyard from the winery, passing just through the Pagani Ranch.
The continuing drought has shown its effects here too, with smaller yields and much smaller berries and more water stress on this hillside vineyard than we normally see. This all translates to concentrated wine and there is a darker fruit element with a riper California fruit note than we normally see and a more dense middle palate sweetness than is the norm. The wine reminds me somewhat of the 2008 version where hot weather also led to very ripe Cabernet flavors (and that wine is drinking beautifully). Enjoyable now for its richness and fruit and soft finish. It will make for excellent drinking for the next 8 years. Certain critics (Robert Parker is one) have proclaimed 2013 as the best vintage for California wines that they have seen and I would not disagree! This is a wine to have with steaks or bigger meals.