As the 2013 Napa Valley vintage continues to rack up accolades, Pulido~Walker winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown is well pleased with the refreshing transparency he sees in the 2014 vintage. The third in a trifecta of near-ideal Napa Valley growing seasons despite prolonged drought conditions, 2014 is showing greater varietal and site expression across the valley. These wines are differentiating themselves early, which promises to give wine lovers a reason to taste widely and explore wines of distinct character.
The 2014 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from Panek Vineyard is a return to the generous fruit profile we expect from this site. Fruit stayed on the skins a few days longer in tank to impart deeper color and a more robust palate, and the wine concentrated nicely in barrel—an especially welcome development for vineyard-designate wines from the valley floor. Of the five clones fermented and aged separately, once again Clones 6, 7, and 169 comprise the final blend.
Winemaking & Tasting Notes
As the vines in Panek Vineyard mature, we’re noticing a savory element in the wine that adds a pleasant complexity to what has been a consistent, generously fruited palate. In 2014, we return to the familiar red-black fruit profile, greater acidity, and caramelized sugar qualities that distinguish Cabernet Sauvignon from this site. The ten-year mark seems to be a magical one for Cabernet Sauvignon plantings in Napa Valley, and Panek Vineyard has hit its tenth anniversary with a 2014 wine that shows a walnut skin quality that makes a savory counterpoint to the familiar maple syrup character.
Those who delighted in the 2012 Pulido~Walker from Panek Vineyard have cause to celebrate the arrival of this vintage with its more intricate expression. While cellaring is certainly an option for this lush Cabernet Sauvignon, you may also enjoy the 2014 now with its return to the customarily generous fruit profile, enhanced by a new complexity.
Thomas Rivers Brown, Winemaker