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Hawk Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, North Coast, California
    0% ABV
    • WE88
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    Winemaker Notes

    This Cabernet Sauvignon is filled with dark berry and cherry aromas with hints of spice. These characteristics carry over onto the palate and combine with red plum and persimmon notes. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied with round tannins.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Hawk Crest

    Hawk Crest

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    Hawk Crest, Lake County, North Coast, California
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    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars has produced Hawk Crest wines since 1974 with an eye towards crafting approachable, fruit-forward wines of high quality and great value. Over the years the Hawk Crest winemaking team has carefully selected specific vineyards in some of California's most promising growing areas. Just 15 miles north of Napa Valley, Red Hill Lake County is the primary source of fruit for the well-structured, food-friendly Cabernet Sauvignon. The Santa Lucia Highlands and greater Monterey County are the source for the Chardonnay, and the richly textured Merlot is sourced from Paso Robles.

    Lake County

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    A warm inland area just north of Napa Valley, Lake County represents a new frontier for California winemaking. While Prohibition halted viticulture here just as it did in so many California regions, winemaking activity remained fairly insignificant for a few decades longer than others. Finally in the 1990s Lake County Sauvignon blanc—uniquely savory and fruity—earned the appellation a renewed reputation.

    Lake County is comprised of a handful of unique American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

    Vineyards that settle into the hills on the west side of Clear Lake create the Clear Lake AVA and produce good quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc and Zinfandel.

    Recently the Red Hills AVA, located within the boundaries of the Clear Lake AVA, has become the focus of some of Napa’s more respected growers. Its notable volcanic and obsidian-based soils could be the source of California’s next best Cabernet Sauvignons. Andy Beckstoffer, a leader in recognizing prime Napa Valley vineyard locales, has already invested heavily in the area.

    Guenoc Valley AVA produces fine examples of Petite Sirah, recognized for their voluptuous aromas of clove, cocoa, tobacco and deep red and blue berry flavors.

    The High Valley AVA sits northeast of Clear Lake. This warm area boasts multiple soil types allowing growers a lot of flexibility and experimentation with grape varieties. While Sauvignon blanc is a mainstay, this zone excels with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, as well as other less common varieties like Barbera and Tempranillo.

    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 Washington, 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.

    SWS148405_2012 Item# 133402