2015 Clos du Val Hirondelle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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About the Wine

Clos Du Val, French for “small vineyard estate of a small valley,” was founded in 1972 in the renowned Stags Leap District. The winery was first recognized for its Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at the famed Judgment of Paris in 1976, establishing its place as one of Napa Valley’s most iconic winery estates. The Cabernet from this estate upset the French Bordeaux competitors at the French Culinary Institute Tasting of 1986. Still family-owned today, Clos Du Val farms 350 acres of estate vineyards in the Stags Leap District, Carneros, and Yountville appellations and continues to craft wines of balance and complexity, showcasing the fruit from the outstanding terroir on which our estate lies.

French for ‘swallow’, the name Hirondelle is a sentimental reminder of the swallows that descend upon Clos Du Val each spring, take shelter in the eaves, and declare the winery their home for the season.

The 2015 season proved to be warm (or even just plain hot), meaning that harvest started and ended early. A major hurdle in Napa Valley was the series of rains in the early part of the season that washed off the pollen on the flowering grapes. This is called shatter and essentially means many of the grapes on each cluster never turned to fruit. The low yield ended up concentrating the flavors on the grapes that were brought in to the winery and resulted in some of the most concentrated wines the winery has seen in a long time.

Tasting Notes: Red Wine. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was grown from four of the best blocks of the Hirondelle Estate Vineyard. The wine has deep violet aromas with a hint of forest floor. Displaying flavors of raspberry jam, toast, espresso, and fresh pastry, there is a long, velvety finish.


Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle Estate (a barrel sample) has wonderfully pure crushed black currants and blackberries notes with suggestions of sandalwood, cigar box, allspice, and cloves plus a touch of dusty earth. Full-bodied, rich, plush, and compelling in its up-front generosity, it has a firm backbone of ripe, fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a spicy note. ~93-95 Robert Parker

A rich red with currants and fresh herb aromas. Some pine needles and tobacco. Full body, round and velvety tannins, and a soft texture. Very polished and pretty. Impressive. Drink or hold. ~93 James Suckling

Big and broad, with a loamy frame around warm, steeped black currant, fig, and plum fruit flavors that flow through a tobacco- and violet-accented finish. Shows ample stuffing, but this has a sense of elegance overall. Best from 2021 through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. ~93 Wine Spectator

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