Those who assumed the Melanson Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon reached the pinnacle of quality last year weren’t wrong. And yet, the 2013 vintage is even more astonishing.
The 2013 growing season was perfection on Pritchard Hill. The relentless summer heat was less intense on the slopes and, thanks to superb farming and early nourishment of the vines, factored into an exemplary yield. Every aspect of the fruit is showing in ideal form in our wine. Sometimes overshadowed by Clone 7 in previous years, 337 came beautifully into its own in 2013 with a much blacker fruit profile and the deep, brooding tones we work to nurture in hillside fruit—producing the best wine ever from this remarkable vineyard.
Winemaking & Tasting Notes
The expectation from Pritchard Hill is that the wine will be huge, given the amount of tannin in the fruit. Our role is to unlock the ultimate quality of the wine by fostering the quality of that tannin. While the 2013 Melanson Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is unsurprisingly big, it is darker than usual, with more stuffing than we’ve seen in prior vintages. This highlights the tremendous performance of Clone 337, which deepened from a red-fruited and high-toned flavor to a much blacker fruit profile that makes the wine characteristically Pritchard Hill—mountainous and tannic, yet also balanced by acidity and abundant fruit with extraordinary aromatics.
Indeed, what is most remarkable in the 2013 vintage is this balance, not often a hallmark of big wines. Instead of one characteristic stealing the show, each of the components is equally opulent. So while there may be an increased amount of tannin, there is an increased presence of fruit to accompany it. A more black-fruited quality that might give another wine less of a mouth-watering character is here superbly matched by an elevated acidity. Anything that might be expected to dominate or overpower has its proportionate counterpart in this abundantly balanced wine.
We like presenting wine in a fresher state, which is why we bottle it while it is still exhibiting some primary fruit. Wine lovers can decide whether to drink it now or lay it down for further aging. Without question, the 2013 will cellar beautifully.
Thomas Rivers Brown, Winemaker