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Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP98
  • D96
  • WS92
  • JS91
14.5% ABV
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4.9 7 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Cardinale is a collection of individual voices that tell a story, in this case the characters are the appellations and the story is the vintage. The individuality of the vineyards is there to enrich the experience. In 2012, the number of characters increased as the vintage was such that the quality of the expression of each appellation soared to the level of Cardinale's expectation. Blackberries, shale, hints of earth, currant, Asian spice and mountain minerality reside alongside a breadth of structural tannins and weight from the concentration of fruit. Like Kesey's novel the 2012 transports you by way of the characters/appellations to a time and a place that we will celebrate for years to come.

Blend: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Cardinale’s 2012 Proprietary Red, the flagship wine from the Jackson Family, was looked after and put-together by winemaker Chris Carpenter from numerous vineyard sites traversing Napa Valley. The 2012's final blend was 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot with 94% new French oak used. Terroirists undoubtedly lament the fact that nine different vineyards and seven different appellations were utilized, but the resulting wine is prodigious. A dense purple color is accompanied by notes of graphite, blackberries, blackcurrants, roasted coffee, vanillin, baking spices and forest floor. With enormous complexity and richness as well as full-bodied power and voluptuousness, it is a wine of exceptional purity, intensity, and well-integrated acidity, alcohol, tannin and wood. This seamless, majestic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated 2012 should drink well for two decades.
D 96
Decanter
A Cab-dominant blend that’s voluptuous and polished, yet with acid and tannin backbone for the cellar. Vivid, dark cherry fruit, seamless texture and a long, mouthwatering close.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Impressively balanced and well-proportioned, centered on rich, deep currant, blackberry, wild berry and black licorice flavors, revealing a dusty, cedary oak side. Ends tight and structured. Drink now through 2028.
JS 91
James Suckling
Figs and dried fruits with some tar predominate in the nose of this red wine. This has polished tannins, good bright fruit and a medium finish. Drink or hold.
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Cardinale

Cardinale

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Cardinale, Napa Valley, California
Video of winery
In 1983, Jess Jackson, proprietor of Kendall-Jackson Winery, decided to produce a world-class red Meritage wine. The name comes from the original Cardinale vineyard site at Kendall-Jackson's Lakeport winery. The wine is made predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with small amounts of Merlot and, in certain years, Cabernet Franc. Grapes are harvested from hillside vineyards located in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak Chateau barrels to produce a forward, seamless oak character to match its intense fruit.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

MPS145855_2012 Item# 145855