Arrowood Winery is pure Sonoma, located in the historic Sonoma Valley, a swath of land tucked between the Mayacamas Mountains and Napa to the east, and Sonoma Mountain to the west. When Richard and Alis Arrowood started the winery in 1986, Richard was already experienced and quite revered from his stints at Korbel and Chateau St. Jean. The Arrowood winery first came to prominence by way of the single-vineyard Chardonnays and Reserve Cabernets that were hoarded by most of the savvy collectors, and this was at a time where Napa Cabernets were quite popular, but this wasn’t the case in Sonoma. Richard’s methods made people take note of Sonoma Cabernets, and the region owes him quite a lot! The Arrowoods have since retired and sold the property, but the new owners and their winemaker (Kristina Werner) have every intention of keeping this property a world-class winery, and judging by this bottling, they haven’t missed a beat!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "Another brilliant effort is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale, which actually comes from five vineyard sites in Sonoma (Monte Rosso, Kellogg, Smothers, Sellitto and Lasseter). It's also 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, barrel selected and blended after 24 months, then aged another 8 months in 45% new French oak. This opaque purple wine has a long pedigree and a history of aging for 25 to 35 or more years, and I don't see any evidence that has changed, although Kristina Werner is now making the wine rather than Dick Arrowood. This is a big, powerful, classic Cabernet Sauvignon, with loamy soil notes intermixed with unsmoked cigar tobacco, blackcurrants, licorice, and touches of graphite and oak. Full-bodied and muscular, it will be better in 3-4 years and keep for 25-30 years at the very minimum."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale is a very good wine, maybe even more than that, but it is also less distinctive than some of other wines in the range as it draws from an array of vineyard sites. Deep and intense, the 2013 offers a striking interplay of racy, dark red stone fruit and more floral/savory notes. There is no shortage of power and concentration. The 2013 should drink well with minimal cellaring."