The Hundred Acre Winery has been treading an incredible path in recent years, in 2013 their single vineyard wines Kayli Morgan, Ark and Few and Far Between were awarded 100, 97 and 100 points respectively from Robert Parker, which followed on from 99, 100 and 100 in 2012. This inspired Jay Woodbridge to push the envelope. He has now released Hundred Acre Wraith 2013, which is a trinity of Hundred Acre’s three single vineyards, the blend of the perfect scoring Kayli Morgan and Few and Far Between, along with the 97 point Ark, which was awarded 100 points in 2012. The verbose Woodbridge says that “this is a Hundred Acre wine I have never released before, and the gruelling 10-year path to obtain what I believe is, perfection. This is about a crowning achievement for me which has brought great joy and torture in equal measure.’ Here he has blended his two greatest ever wines, in an attempt to make something greater. It is a remarkable project, akin to Prince Robert of Luxembourg viewing the 100 point Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion 2009s are unfinished and blending them to make a master wine. Well, that is what Woodbridge has done here, enormously ambitious.
Such is the focus and precision of the project that Woodbridge claims to have tasted and smelled every single barrel of each single vineyard, setting aside the best for Wraith. From this he picks the very best, obsessing about the output. It is hard to imagine that Hundred Acre Wraith will not be a perfect scoring wine once tasted by Robert Parker and the other leading critics. This is the first release of Wraith and there is very little available, Few and Far Between produces less than 600 cases. We have managed to get access to a parcel of Wraith which we can offer today for £1,100 per case of three bottles. This price is at a large discount to the current trading prices of Few and Far Between: the 2013 and 2012 trade at £1,500, the 2010 at £1,600 and the 2007 at £1,650.
Jayson Woodbridge, the owner of Hundred Acre, is a maverick vintner who Parker describes as ‘one of the wine world’s most compelling, outspoken, irreverent, bigger-than-life personalities, [who] can get away with just about anything he wants to say or do simply because year after year he proves what great wine is all about’. After several lucrative years as an investment banker, Woodbridge moved to Napa in 2000, where he purchased what is now the Kayli Morgan Vineyard. This was the genesis of the Hundred Acre Winery; according to Jayson, the vineyard reminded him of The Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh stories.
The Ark vineyard is located just north of St. Helena in Napa Valley, at the base of Howell Mountain, where the soil is comprised of nine different volcanic strata. The grapes of the very special Few and Far Between are lovingly hand-picked from a precious 5-acre parcel next to the Eisele Vineyard, which Chateau Latour recently acquired.Given Jayson’s meticulous attention to detail, the grapes are hand-picked in the vineyard, hand-sorted berry by berry in the winery, and fermented and aged in carefully selected small French oak barrels in the cellar.
Hundred Acre Wraith 2013 is truly special, a micro blend of perfect scoring wines, priced at a discount to current trading prices of the constituent blends. The issue is there is very little available.
Hundred Acre Wraith 2013, 3×75 – £1,100 IB
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