2012 was a blockbuster near-perfect vintage year, yielding a crop of spectacular fruit that produced a high-structure wine, and should stand out for decades to come. Summer and fall had warm temperatures, but no notable heat waves, which in turn permitted the grapes to reach a very even ripeness. We picked the Cabernet over three days under truly the most ideal conditions in mid-October, and expect 2012 will turn out to be a new pinnacle for our Estate. About 375 cases produced.
We hand sorted our grapes both prior to and after de-stemming, and following a four day whole berry maceration and cold soak, we began primary fermentation. After nearly three weeks, the wine was gently pressed-off and racked to 75% new Darnajou and Tarransaud 36 month-aged tight grain French Oak barrels to complete a slow secondary fermentation for another few months. The intense fruit profile and high tannin structure resulted in us deviating from our prior two year's 22 month barrel aging, as we felt an extra 3 months in barrel would not add significance to the wine's characteristics - it already had the best possible balance of fruit, tannins and oak. After 17 months in barrel, we blended the final wine at the beginning of March and returned the wine to barrel for an additional two months to allow the flavors and components of the individual varietals to marry. This wine will be bottle aged for nearly 18 months before its fall release.
93 – “Cellar Selection” From a heritage site planted originally in 1859, this wine was made by Nils Venge and contains mostly Cabernet, with a small handful of Merlot and an even smaller pinch of Petit Verdot. Soft yet structured, it’s layered in leathery dark-chocolate and black-fig tones, with juicy components of blackberry and cassis. It should age through 2022. – Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast
92 – “Deep, dark and juicy with firm structure and bright blackberry; rich, balanced and supple with spice and finesse.” – Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel
91 - "The beautiful 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard exhibits lots of blackberry and blueberry fruit, supple tannins, excellent purity and outstanding depth and texture. This is an elegant, medium-bodied wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15 years." – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
90 - "Tight and structured, with a firm core of dark berry, sage, mineral and cedary oak, ending with gripping tannins and an aftertaste of loamy earth. Drink now through 2026." – James Laube, Wine Spectator
92 – “The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard is a delicious, racy Cabernet to drink now and over the next handful of years. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, spices and sweet vanillin from the oak meld together in a forward, unctuous yet mid-weight wine that delivers the goods. The 2012 is a bit more restrained than the 2013 tasted alongside it.” – Anthony Galloni, Vinous Media