Members of the Paso Robles CAB Collective (PRCC), an association of Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal producers in the Paso Robles AVA, recently joined fellow vintners and growers across California in praising the virtues of the 2013 harvest. At the top of the list are an early start to the growing season, long hang-time, and near-absence of inclement weather.
“The climatic conditions on our mountain during the growing season contributed to smaller berries and fewer berries per cluster,” says Daniel Daou, winemaker and owner at DAOU Vineyards. “These conditions have allowed us to generate phenolics in our wines that are, on average, thirty percent greater than in previous years. This means darker and more intense wines that will age well. A great year for Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties.”
Also commenting on the harvest was Michael Barreto, winemaker at Le Vigne Winery. “An early and warm spring got the growing season off to a quick start. Some cool stretches in the summer allowed varieties like Merlot to coast a bit and be ready for harvest around the same as an average year. However, for us, Cabernet Sauvignon came in around two weeks earlier than normal. Our harvest size was about average with nicely-sized clusters that should provide nice flavor and concentration.”
Calcareous Winemaker, Jason Joyce says, “All in all, at this earliest of stages in the wines’ life, I could not be more enthusiastic about this vintage. It may not be until 2016 that these wines are ready to taste, but if there is enough patience to let natural aging run its course, this vintage has all the requisite fundamentals for the production of remarkable Bordeaux varietals.”
With more than 25 Paso Robles harvests under his belt, Jeff Meier, director of Winemaking for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines adds, “Given the phenomenal quality of our fermentations so far this harvest, and the color numbers we are recording, I’m reminded of the legendary 1997 vintage. While every vintage is unique, 1997 and 2013 were very similar in that we had ideal moderate weather from veraison onward with no significant heat events, factors that have contributed to the remarkable color of our red wines. This is especially true for our Cabernet Sauvignon, which is showing the voluptuous black currant and cherry flavors we love from warmer vintages. The fact that I’m even thinking about 1997 right now is a testament to how excited I am about this vintage.”