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Arrow & Branch Red 2013

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
  • JS92
14.8% ABV
  • WS92
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With a warm dry spring, consistent summer temperatures and cool sunny weather through out October it was a near perfect growing season in 2013. The 2013 Red Wine is a true Cabernet Franc based blend. This perfumed wine invites with warm spices and lavender. It is fruit focused with ripe fleshy dark cherry, hints of liquor and blueberry. The French oak spices are laced throughout the wine as integrated accent that add layers and allow the fruit to shine. This age worthy wine wraps around the center of the palate and makes a grand exit to a fresh finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are about 200 cases of the sensational 2013 Proprietary Red, a blend of 73% Cabernet Franc, 18% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and a small dollop of Petit Verdot. It boasts a dense purple color along with notes of acacia flowers, blueberries, black raspberries, forest floor, incense and graphite. This deep, dense, pure, impressively endowed, full-bodied 2013 should drink well for 10-15 years.
Range: (92-94)
JS 92
James Suckling
A solid and beautiful red with focus and texture. Full body, refined and polished tannins. Dusty mouthfeel. Attractive dark fruits and chocolate powder. Drink or hold.
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Arrow & Branch

Arrow & Branch

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Arrow & Branch, Napa Valley, California
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Arrow&Branch proprietors Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Château Cheval Blanc. The couple began their romance while traveling through Bordeaux in the mid 1980's, and have since found their dreams come true in being able to live and make wine in Napa Valley. They sought out their Coombsville vineyard property with an eye to producing top-quality Bordeaux blend wines from Napa Valley. The Contursi family lives in Laguna Beach and bought the Arrow&Branch Estate Vineyard in November 2007. Etude Wines founder Tony Soter, a renowned Napa Valley winemaker and prominent wine consultant, previously owned the organic vineyard property. The vineyard was the source of Soter's renowned and highly rated "Little Creek" Cabernet Franc. The Contursi's have maintained the organic farming and, through their work with the detail-oriented Viticulturalist Mike Wolf, are continually improving this wonderful vineyard site.

One of the rising stars of Napa Valley winemaking, Jennifer Williams, was named Winemaker for Arrow&Branch in April 2011. Jennifer takes the reigns at Arrow&Branch from Winemaker extraordinaire, Helen Keplinger, who recently accepted the winemaking position at Bryant Family Vineyards. After years of working with and learning from legendary winemakers such as Rosemary Cakebread, Francoise Peschon and the Novak family, Jennifer now brings her outstanding talents and experience to Arrow&Branch.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

AROAB13RED12_2013 Item# 341344