The Lost Clos Du Val

Deep ruby with a trace of bricking.  Minty bittersweet tannin plumped up against wet-wool dog-park funk with clean plasticine stone-ground cherry scraping all sides of this classic stunner.  The eucalyptus nose blows off quickly and one is left with deep mineral and dust wrapped tightly around dark cherry fruit.

I love these wines so much, and am glad I bought so many of them before Clos Du Val got smart and decided to stop GIVING this stuff away.  If you have been awake the past year, you noticed a couple things. First of all, the 2013 got a nice high score and became rather hard to get–compared to other vintages on every supermarket and drugstore shelf.  We’ve been buying this wine for decades at 30-40 bucks and suddenly the 2014 arrives with TWO distinct differences: the word ‘Estate’ on the front label and an 80$ price tag.  How does this happen? Simple.  Clos du Val got smart.  They have been GIVING this wine away for decades.  They woke up one day and were like, “This wine is 75% Stags Leap District, it out-classes 80% of the wines out there and we are selling it at every Tom, Dick & Harry supermarket for $29.99?  We are watering down our brand.  Let’s halve production and double the price and close out all our top-shelf accounts.”  So that’s what they did.  32k cases to 16k cases, put “Estate” above “Napa Valley” and list it at 80 bucks.  Smart move.  I’m just glad I bought every single 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, and a few 13’s I could find on any shelf and stashed them.  I will be drinking these happily for decades.  And I would highly recommend everyone do the same as these last few linger on shelves. They literally are some of the BEST, most well-structured Napa Valley entry-level cabs available.

In the mouth, clean bright fruit hits hard alongside steely stone and wet gravel in classic Stag’s Leap fashion.  Thin beauty on the tip of the tongue while acid and tannin begins wrapping the sides with structure.  Nice olive and wet leather combine with dusty blackberry over the middle and rich, well-meaning lean-ness closes the long finish with peppery tannins.  A brilliant wine, classically made, and destined for the long-run.  A true classic Napa Valley heritage cabernet.

2010 CLOS DU VAL Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 13.5

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