Dark dark ruby, somewhat staining.  It is my first impression this label gets candied-sweeter and sweeter with each vintage.  Opulent jellied-plum fruit rolls effortlessly off in waves of fresh bread and bright, clean sand.  Decanted heavily.  A twiggy briar toys with chocolaty dirt and a generous helping of heavily toasted oak over more clean, dark, perfectly focused fruit.

People who know me understand my decades-old love affair with BV Ruth and also my disposition towards young cab.  But with the Clos Du Val fresh on the memory and the confidence in the 2013 vintage shown by practically everyone, this thing was catnip.  Late-breathing definitely flabby’s this thing up a bit, but I would stop short of calling it glycerin-ey.  Another swirl gives you another nose-full of crisp green stemminess and dessert-fruit.

In the mouth, immediately rewarding.  The copious fruit shown in the bouquet washes full and lively over the mouth, with brilliant acid slowly curling the edges in and morphing seamlessly to dry tannin more concentrated than the mouthfeel indicates.  With that said, it is a simple wine.  Despite all the fabulous goings-on throughout it and a near-perfect balance, nothing woos tremendously.  Clean and refreshing, vibrantly full of fruit with a dark seam of tar, but nothing more.  One of those perfect wines right-outa the gate which will most likely polish out to something *possibly* more enjoyable in a few years to fans of older cabs but will never turn into an elegant masterpiece as can be said for past vintages.

Putting this side-by-side with the 2013 Clos Du Val is pretty much a study of where these wines have ALWAYS been.  I have never equated them together.  I equate the CdV with labels like Fransiscan and Freemark Abbey and Heitz.  Solidly old-school, with a lean-ness of fruit and a dollop of funk.  BVruth has always been a tad riper, although this feature has blossomed exponentially in the past two decades.  I now equate BVruth with labels like Raymond and Duckhorn or even SOalex and Caymus, having left the funk and acid behind for copious oak and mild tannins.  I WISH they would direct this current program toward the ‘Napa Valley’, raise the price a couple bucks and leave the Rutherford clean and pure and old-fashioned, but they don’t return my calls.

This is a great little wine which I recommend whole-heartedly.  I could drink this shit all night long.  I was merely hoping for greatness from this VINTAGE OF THE DECADE and honestly this is boring consumer bullshit.

2013 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley  14.5

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