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2012 Napa Valley Cabernet

PDF Fact Sheet

Winemaker Notes

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The grapes for our 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were grown in some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious appellations, including the mid-valley regions of Rutherford and Oakville. As in previous vintages, we pressed off a portion of the hand-picked grapes early to minimize skin contact and retain the bright fruit forward character of the fruit. The balance was left on the skins for an extended period of time to extract soft tannins which round out the mid-palate and create a lovely long finish. In this vintage we chose to blend in small portions of Malbec (3%) and Petite Verdot (2%) to add complexity, color and deep flavor to the finished wine.

This is a bold, rich Cabernet Sauvignon with a beautiful core of dark, brambly fruit -- black cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry -- framed by spicy notes of black pepper, anise, clove, cinnamon stick and fresh sage. Lush and full-bodied, the wine shows off sweet oak notes and a vanillin-tinged finish that is smooth and silky.

All the Facts

Appellation:Napa Valley
Varietal:95% Cabernet Sauvignon; 3% Malbec; 2% Petite Verdot
Cases Produced:6876
Aging:22 months, 71% French Oak, 29% American Oak
Suggested Retail Price:$40
Enjoyability:Drink now through 2020 for optimum enjoyment.

On the Vine

2012 was a vintage for the record books in Napa Valley, with a near perfect growing season that featured warm days, cool evenings and no heat spikes or rain events to speak of. Across Napa Valley this ideal weather pattern resulted in normal bud break, flowering and fruit set, along with slow, even ripening. The fruit from the 2012 harvest was simply exceptional, with deep color, good acid and highly concentrated flavor.

This week's wine picks 
The Press Democrat
"A cab that has great structure and a seamless texture. It’s a soft cab with aromas and flavors of cassis, blackberry, pepper and bittersweet chocolate. Juicy." Read more.
— Peg Melnick, Wine Writer, The Press Democrat

"Open this lush, muscular wine before serving to optimize the sipping. It has dark, dense fruit flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry with a dash of black pepper, clove and fresh sage. There is a whisper of sweet oak on the long finish." Read more.
—Julia Hollister, Northern California Wine Examiner,

6 Budget Friendly Wines for Thanksgiving
Gabe's View
"All of the fruit for this wine came from Napa Valley. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (95%), small amounts of Malbec (3%), and Petit Verdot (2%) were also blended in. It was aged over 22 months in a combination of French (71%), and American oak (29%). Black Currant, cherry and Mexican Vanilla bean aromas are omnipresent on the nose. Black cherry with a splash of a liqueur dominates the palate which is plush and lush in its easy drinking, smooth nature. Crushed velvet, continued black and red cherry, earth, espresso and chicory are all present on the finish along with a hint of bitter chocolate. This is a fine example of Napa Valley Cabernet that drinks impeccably right out of the bottle. It goes down easy and also has good depth and complexity."
Read more.
—Gabe Sasso, Gabe's View

91 points
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
"Serious Cabernet at the forty-dollar price point has become a fairly rare commodity these days, but this one delivers the goods, and its combination of fruity depth, very careful proportion and a genuinely complex varietal voice is one that earns it high praise indeed. It is supple and fleshy with a fine sense of solidity, and yet it is always trim and well-balanced, and all of its many parts mesh seamlessly together. Its polish is such that it will almost certainly invite early drinking, but very good things lie ahead for this one, and the smart money says to wait for a few years."

Napa Cabs under $50
"Dark berry fruit, smoke and saddle leather on the nose. A violet perfume. Palate is juicy, chocolatey with ripe plums and blueberries. Pleasant round mouthfeel, with fine tannins and  an impressive restraint despite the juicy fruit. Long, balanced, bright fruit, oak spice and clean earth finish."
Read more.
Maureen Downey, Guest Contributor,

92 points
Wine Enthusiast
"Fresh and fruity, this elegant Cab is supported by smaller percentages of Malbec and Petit Verdot. Firm tannins and a low imprint of oak allow the cinnamon-dusted black cherry and cassis to speak, girded by a fine structure and peppery finish."

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast

Gold Star
"Intense aromas of ripe black fruit, cherry, cassis, and spice, with licorice and sweet vanilla oak tones. Velvety smooth on the palate, offering jammy black cherry and plum flavors, with herbal, baking spice, cedar, and dark chocolate notes. Smooth finish with a touch of oak on the end." Read more.

90 points
Wine Spectator
"Up-front notes of creamy, toasty oak make for a pleasant introduction, leading the way for supple blackberry and wild berry fruit, accented by shades of espresso and licorice. Ends clean and pure. Drink now through 2024."

—James Laube, Wine Spectator