Cabernet Pinnacle of Antinori’s Patience in California
The ultra-concentrated 2013 Antica Cabernet Sauvignon is the best Antica produced to date, having garnered Trifecta 94-point ratings from Robert Parker and James Suckling and Wine Enthusiast. This watershed vintage release represents the culmination of years of fastidious efforts at Piero Antinori’s spectacular Antica Estate near the summit of Atlas Peak. Neighboring Kongsgaard’s Atlas Peak Cabernet (produced from vines a stone’s throw from Antica) will set you back $250/bottle. Today, just $45/bottle for the Antica Cabernet Sauvignon that stunned the critics into 94 points of consensus. A mere 90 cases available for those who act fast.
The 2013 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon is a mesmerizing wine — the culmination of decades of clonal research and the confluence of Robert Parker’s “greatest vintage in 37 years.” It is the pinnacle of Antinori’s patient efforts in California. One year after landing on the cover of Wine Spectator, the release of the 2013s wowed Robert Parker, James Suckling and Wine Enthusiast, a new milestone for Antinori's pursuit of perfection in California.
For almost two decades, Antinori conducted studies that revealed Antica sits in a unique nested valley on Atlas Peak where the cooler microclimate is more akin to the mild growing seasons of Bordeaux. The Foss Valley, as it is known, acts as a wind tunnel, sucking up cooler air from the San Pablo Bay through Milliken Creek just south of Antica. Cleansing breezes funnel through Antica’s vineyards, which bottom out at 1,400 feet. Still well above the fogline and in direct sunlight, those cooling winds help keep temperatures from spiking, while acids remain firm and vibrant.
Today’s 2013 Antica (an acronym for “Antinori in California”) realizes the vision that Piero Antinori had in 1985, when the Italian legend eyed a 1,200-acre estate, situated on a high plain between 1,500 and 1,800 feet in elevation, in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. This wine’s excellence only comes about as a result of decades of hard work and research after that initial vision, and only thanks to a vintage as legendary as 2013.