2013 Palazzo Right Bank Proprietary Red Blend Reserve

Year: 2013
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 93
Red Wine
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A blend of 68% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and the rest 8% Cabernet Sauvignon

"Given the fact that the 2013 had been in bottle only five weeks when I tasted it, some allowance should be made by readers that it may have been somewhat less expressive, but it certainly strutted its stuff. A blend of 68% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has beautifully fragrant, fresh earth, coffee, chocolate, blackberry and cassis notes, a brawny, vigorous, uplifting mouthfeel, a tightly coiled texture, and moderately intense but sweet tannin. The purity, freshness and vigor are all there, but the wine still resembles a barrel sample, as one might expect. Forget it for another 4-5 years and drink it over the following two decades.

Scott Palazzo has a fascinating background, traveling the world, picking fruit in Bordeaux in the late 1970s and early 1980s, becoming highly involved in the music business producing videos that earned him several Grammy nominations. Yet he gave it all up for the lifestyle and challenge of producing world-class wine in Napa Valley. He produces three cuvées of wine, all well-known among wine insiders, but probably not getting the notice among consumers that they merit.

There are usually about 400-500 cases of Palazzo’s Cuvée Blanc, which comes from seven acres of 60- to 65-year-old Semillon in Napa. As for his two cuvées of red wine, he produces about 500 cases or so of his Cabernet Franc and approximately 1,500 cases of his Right Bank Proprietary Red Wine, which is a Merlot-dominated blend with good, healthy dosages of Cabernet Franc and some Cabernet Sauvignon. The Right Bank Proprietary Red is Scott Palazzo’s largest production wine, with about 1500 cases made. When I saw Palazzo, he was generous enough to invite me for a full vertical. Normally this wine tends to run two-thirds Merlot, about one-fifth Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, but more specific percentages are listed in my tasting notes.

Scott Palazzo’s Cabernet Franc bottlings are always 100% Cabernet Fran. He should certainly get credit as one of the earliest pioneers to see the potential in this grape. Cabernet Franc has accomplished remarkable things both as a stand-alone grape and even more impressively as a blending agent, lending complexity and more aromatic nuance and depth to both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated cuvées. Production of this wine at Palazzo is relatively small – roughly 500 or so cases, depending on the vintage conditions. The Cabernet Franc tends to spend only 10-12 months in about 30% new French oak before being moved to neutral oak for another 4-6 months prior to bottling. Like Palazzo’s Right Bank wines, it is bottled with neither fining nor filtration to prevent any evisceration or stripping of texture, aromatics, and flavor intensity." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Tasting Notes:
Beautiful aromas of red cherry & black-berry fruit. Hints of cocoa powder & espresso bean. Floral notes of violets & wild cassis...with subtle tones of vanilla, cedar and spice!

Rich, plush mouthfeel...with a fabulousvelvety texture! Layers of crushed red cherries & sweet blackberry fruit. Hints of dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Full-bodied with excellent structure & acidity. Soft, sweet tannins with good grip & weight. Complex with layers of rich fruitand hints of earth & minerality laced throughout.Wonderfully balanced!

Bold, long finish with great acidity! Rich and complex, with hints of dark chocolateand espresso!

Bone-In Rib Eye, Grilled Veal Chops, New York Strip, Italian Food ... or a delicious Gourmet Wabyu Burger! A Great Food Wine!