- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Rutherford and Howell Mountain (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 3% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
- Vintage production: 1,200 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 20013
- Drinking window: 2018-2028+
About The Wine:
The 2013 vintage marked the start of a prolonged dry period in Napa, with most of the rain fell in March and April. With such a dry season cover crops were removed early, so that any water in the soil would be left for the vines. While there were a few heat spikes in July, August, and September, the average temperatures were moderate, allowing the grapes to ripen fully while retaining structure and acidity. There was a little rain on September 21st, but the dry windy conditions kept the moisture from being any concern to fruit quality. October followed with perfect ripening conditions. The warm days helped the vines through the final stages of flavor and tannin development. The below average night time temperatures helped to retain the acidity in the grapes.
Dana Estates' commitment to converting their vineyards to dry-farming was validated in 2013. Dry farming encourages the roots to dig deep for water. As such, the very dry conditions had little impact on our vineyards. Dana's Howell Mountain vineyard benefitted from the steady warmth and dryness, where the first Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on September 11th. A unique and varied site, the last fruit from the Howell Mountain vineyard didn’t arrive until October 23rd when the Petit Verdot was harvested. The south-west facing vineyard site in the Vaca Mountains followed closely behind as the well exposed vines were harvested over the course of 18 days beginning on September 12th. The deep roots and water rich soils of Dana's Rutherford site enabled the team to delay harvesting of the vineyard until berries reached their peak development on October 7th.
Stainless steel and concrete fermentations helped focus the purity and expression of the fruit, while upright oak tank fermenters and small barrel fermentations provided structure and balance. After undergoing native fermentations, the wines were drained and pressed directly to barrel where the native malolactic fermentation ran its course.
The wine was racked in to new French oak for 20 months, before bottling on July 8th, 2015.
Dana Estates VASO Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
"The VASO 2013 has gorgeous nose that highlights its pedigree. A complex nose of violets, blackcurrant, and dusty cocoa is framed by a mineral character of graphite, charcoal and scorched earth: opulent yet refined. It has a stunning texture that is the Dana trademark, and a core of red fruit and minerals that the Hershey vineyard on Howell Mountain is so famed for. It's an incredibly energetic wine with complex notes of dark chocolate, cracked pepper and crystalline blackcurrant. All-in-all, this screams quality and is an excellent way to begin experiencing Dana Estates' incredible wines."
Four Corners Wine, April 2018