2013 Napa Cult Wines: A Blind Tasting Showdown


Wine and food displayed on table


This past Saturday (9/2) a group of 9 of us got together at STK Steakhouse in San Diego to test the metal on the best wines from Napa in one of Napa’s finest vintages – 2013.

The criteria was simple. Each guest had to bring a 2013 Napa Cabernet and it had to be 100 points.

We would taste all these wines side by side and blind to determine the winner and see how these Napa Cult wines ranked.

Wine bottle next to wine glass

The lineup was had all the Heavy Weights that you would want to battle in the ring together: Harlan, Hundred Acre (Few and Far Between & Wraith), Shrader's "Old Sparky", Scarecrow, Screaming Eagle, Screaming Eagle Second Flight (although technically not a full cab), Tusk, Colgin and Abreu Thorevillos - 10 bottles in total.


 Wine bottles on display


We primed our palates with two bottles of Dom Perignon 2002 which is in the prime drinking window right now! The acid is still lively, and the palate has a beautiful brioche and lemon zest notes. The perfect wine to start the evening with before the Big Guns!


 Wine bottle and glass of wine displayed on table


The wines all showed BRILLIANTLY! 2013 is a superb vintage with power, finesse, and structure. It is easy to see why critics talk of this vintage as being one of the all time greats.

My personal favorite wine ended up being Harlan Estate 2013 which I managed to call blind. The wine embodied elegance. Nothing was out of place. It was knit together perfectly with balance, structure and power all dancing together in rhythm. Blackberries, blueberries, dark cherries, a hint of cedar on the nose. The palate was so soft but also well structured at the same time. The wine had a finish that lingered in my mouth for over a minute. The best new world wine I have ever had! I would highly recommend stocking up Harlan Estate 2013!!


Wine bottle held in hand in front of dinner table


Wine bottle next to wine glass


We allocated a simple scoring system - 1st pick gets 5 points, 2nd pick gets 3 points and 3rd pick gets 1 point with each person selecting blind, the wine they liked the most.

The Overall Winner: Tusk 2013

Second Place: Harlan Estate 2013

Third Place: was a tie between Hundred Acre (Few & Far Between) and Scarecrow 2013

The aromatics on Tusk was absolutely incredible!! One of the most perfumed wines I have ever had. Black licorice, anise, and blackberry. The wine had a beautiful core of acidity that kept you coming back for more and more sips. It was flashy but still elegant. Truly outstanding. You could smell this wine all night and be happy. The reason I preferred the Harlan over the Tusk was that I just found the Harlan a little more elegant and also it lingered for longer on my palate. Both were incredible wines.

What a night!!

Back to blog