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Gandona Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
  • V92
0% ABV
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

More than our flagship Cabernet, it is the spirit of the estate personified. Named in memory of my grandfather, Gandona, which translates to "humble man," Gandona always consists of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the highest and steepest blocks on the property, which consistently articulate the most profound and striking expression of our terrior, both emphatic and eloquent, like Gandona.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Living up to the potential predicted last year, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is fabulous. One hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in 80% new French oak, there are 500 cases of this terrific wine. With its inky purple color, a glorious nose of blackberry and blueberry liqueur, full-bodied mouthfeel, dense, pure notes interwoven with camphor, charcoal embers and spring flowers, this is stunning stuff and a great example of the Estate’s potential. Drink now-2025+.
V 92
Vinous
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a dark, powerful wine endowed with serious depth. Dark blue and black-toned fruit, lavender, violets, graphite, savory herbs, cedar and leather flesh out in a bold, dramatic Cabernet built on opulence and breadth. Hints of raspberry, sage and mint develop over time, adding an element of lift, but this remains a big Pritchard Hill Cabernet that showcases power more than anything else.
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Gandona Winery

Gandona Winery

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Gandona Winery, Napa Valley, California
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Gandona Estate is single-minded in its approach to ensuring quality. The winery does not purchase outside grapes; rather, it custoom built a setup to control every stage of the grape growing and winemaking process. The winery was completed in 2010 and was designed to embrace the best of both old- and new-world winemaking techniques. Adopting an old-world practice used by the legendary Chateaux of France, concrete fermentation tanks were incorporated into the winery’s design. Wines are barrel-aged in a cave tucked inside Pritchard Hill’s rocky interior, providing consistently cool temperatures and an ideal degree of humidity. A separate, temperature-controlled room inside the cave can be heated or cooled as needed.

Reclaimed wood and other repurposed materials were used in several areas of the winery, like the winery’s interior oak doors made from trees harvested from the vintner's former home in Connecticut. The boulders and rocks excavated from the cave were used to create the winery’s exterior wall, and the bathroom sink was chiseled from a large boulder excavated from deep inside the hill. The property’s old redwood water storage tank was dismantled and transformed into beautiful doors for the winery and cave.

Grapes arrive to the winery immediately after picking to be vinified in small lots. The winemaking team first hand-sorts individual clusters, selecting the finest for crushing and de-stemming. Then, individual berries are sorted, removing those with imperfections. The remaining grapes are transferred to concrete tanks for fermentation by a bin/gravity flow process. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is pressed and placed in French oak barrels for aging in Gandona Estate’s cave.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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 now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

MGY180772_2012 Item# 180772