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With her work at Ladera, Wolf Family and Renteria, Karen Culler has crafted a 30-year resume of bold, muscle-bound Cabernet. For her own Casaeda label, she blends these Schwarzeneggerian lots of Cab with some mellower Oak Knoll fruit to yield a full-bodied but soft-tannin-trimmed style of Cabernet that almost tastes like a “mini” Beringer Private Reserve. That’s a plush and decadent profile that’s ready to drink right away! Casaeda’s going to make many folks crazy happy for this phenomenal price.
About the wine
From top to bottom, we may never see a vintage like 2013 ever again. The concentration and quality in every appellation gave winemakers an extraordinary range of fruit and structure to work with. With Napa Cabernet, great vineyards will get you a rich, robust wine – but the secret to great wine is how you balance it. That happens to be Karen Culler’s forte, as she can tweak the vines, the barrels and the fermentations to get just the exact kind of Cabernet she wants.With Casaeda, she pushes forward with a boldly plum-packed and cherry-loaded Cabernet with a viscous, velvety mouthfeel complemented by smoky oak. The tannins are round and give an impression of cocoa powder and their seamless feel marks this as one of the first 2013s to enter “The Drinking Window.” That’s a welcome addition to the rest of her portfolio, which is stacked with high-octane and powerfully structured Cabs that take their sweet time. Casaeda is a smooth and suave style that works equally well on its own or with a variety of meats – and its well-managed tannin even make it a good pairing with pasta dishes.
Winemaker: Karen Culler
Appellation: Napa Valley
- 95 pts: Julie Tesar, Certified Sommelier
- 95 pts: Davis Smith, Certified Sommelier
- 4.1/5.0: Vivino Users
Grapes: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot
Vineyards: Select Napa Valley vineyards
Cooperage: 12 months in a combination of new and seasoned barrels
4.1 ★ Vivino Users
"Love this. Long finish. Great value!" - Rich
"Love this Cabernet very much and will certainly buy again soon." - James H.
"Nice blend of melodic fruits hits the palate and the finish is very smooth. Great value" - Tim M.
95 points, Julie Tesar, Certified Sommelier
"A Cabernet Sauvignon of exquisite tension and compelling aromatics, a wine like this is exactly why this vintage has received such praise and adoration. Luscious aromatics of baked plum, red current, black cherry, cassis, pomegranate, and black raspberry are met with well integrated notes of vanilla bean, clove, cinnamon and fresh tobacco. Mouth-coating and rich, the lush texture is balanced by round, velvety tannins and poised balance. A wine with exceptional charm now, as well as longevity for many years to come."
95 points, Davis Smith, Certified Sommelier
"Casaeda’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is remarkably approachable now. Pomegranate, black cherry, black tea and blackberry jam all jump out of the glass. The fruit for this wine is sourced from all over the Napa Valley providing the winemakers with a wide palette of flavors and aromas to choose from when putting together the blend. In 2013 they added 8% Merlot to great effect, softening the wine and adding a touch of Merlot’s telltale plush plum fruit to the mix. This wine is equally well-suited to special occasions or Tuesday night grill sessions as it is wonderful with a number of different proteins from chicken to lamb to steak and other grill fare."
"Karen Culler makes some of the most delicious and fairly priced Cabernets in Napa Valley. There is so much to love about these classy, harmonious wines, it’s hard to know where to start."
”This is really good. Rich and velvety.”: