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Yao Ming Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • JS94
  • WE92
14.4% ABV
  • WE98
  • RP95
  • JS94
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 growing season in the Napa Valley was classic. This vintage will prove to be historic. Appearance exhibits deep dark purple color with intense hues. There is exuberant fruit with pronounced plum and blackberry. The fruit is framed with barrel notes of toast and baking spice. The palate is jammy yet supple and elegant, with lush richness from integrated tannin structure. The wine comes together on the finish and lingers for a long time on the back of the palate. This wine is approachable now and will age for 18 years.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
Very floral with pure raspberry and sliced plum aromas. Full-bodied, yet tight and reserved with firm tannins and a shaved chocolate, light toast and berry finish. Give it a year or two or three to soften.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This robust, refined wine, dusted in tiny additions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, is impressively crafted, seamless in approach and velvety in texture. Juicy blackberry and black currant, along with softer notions of black cherry, highlight buoyant acidity and a lush, thick finish. This should show best between 2023 and 2028.
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Yao Ming

Yao Ming

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Yao Ming, Napa Valley, California
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Yao Family Wines sources the grapes for its Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from prestigious Napa Valley vineyards with a reputation for excellent fruit and selects individual blocks to blend for flavor and texture in its world-class wines. The vineyards are located from north to south along the Napa Valley, where the variation in climate and soils provide the grapes with distinct characteristics that add complexity to the final blend. The grapes are fermented using artisan winemaking techniques and are aged up to 18 months in 100% French oak barrels. Only the best lots were used in the final blend.

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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

PIN449668_2013 Item# 192524