This wine is from the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot, grown in the Cohn, Red Barn and Chateau vineyards. It was aged in 90% French oak barrels, more than a third of which was new oak. Alcohol hits the typical 14.5% abv mark, while the wine retails for a hundred bucks.
The winemaker describes the 2012 vintage like this: "...one of the best vintages in recent history because of near perfect climate conditions. The entire season was marked by moderate temperatures, which lasted through September and October. Having no heat spikes or rain to contend with in the fall allowed the fruit to hang on the vines longer, giving the grapes better concentration and ripeness as well as more textural dimension and flavor complexity."
This dark wine bursts with rich cassis, vanilla and tobacco notes on the nose. Black fruit flavors are met with minerals and spice and the tannins are a step away from youthful, vibrant yet showing a soft side. The Cabernet Franc shows up wonderfully spicy with a green note in tow, while the Merlot even sneaks in a whiff of smoke. It's a pleasure from sniff to swallow, and the lengthy finish reminds one to go back for another sip.
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