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Ilaria Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

From vineyards in Coombsville, Atlas Peak Foothills and Spring Mountain, the 2012 Ilaria Cabernet Sauvignon reveals graceful layers of dark fruits including black cherry, blackcurrant and blackberry. This wine possesses striking balance and finesse. Aromas of spring flowers and crushed rock are interlaced with graphite and toasty oak that lend to its complexity. The wine possesses a soft and silky mouthfeel and polished finish.

Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Readers looking for a more elegant, restrained and streamlined red should check out the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep black cherry and blackcurrant fruit intertwined with notes of licorice, graphite and toast are present in this medium to full-bodied, elegant, pure, well-textured, stylish Cabernet. Enjoy it over the next decade.
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Ilaria, Napa Valley, California
In vino felicitas. In wine there is happiness. There is also truth, as we have been reminded, and one of the truths in my life is to make wine. I conceived the Ilaria label to share with you the geographical, cultural, intellectual and historical aspects of wine. ? My goal is to produce small lot wines that will stand as testaments to my belief that fine wine comes from the earth, its sense of place a key component in shaping its character. In sourcing fruit for Ilaria, I have concentrated on securing unique lots that are not shy about expressing their heritage – the soil and climate in which they were grown, where that combination of great terrior and viticultural expertise merge. These wines are the products of a decade of experience working with some of the most respected producers in Napa Valley.? My inspiration for the name Ilaria, Italian for happy and cheerful, arrived on my wedding day when I was introduced to my husband’s cousin, Ilaria, who traveled from Italy to celebrate with us. I fell in love with the name. As fate would have it, as the idea of the Ilaria label grew, so did my family, my daughter Ilaria arriving just as we released our first vintage of her namesake wine in the fall of 2009. So, it’s not a stretch to suggest that Ilaria has become the tie that binds my past to my present while serving as a beacon to the future. Even the font that graces our label reflects this ideal, its own heritage dating to the Italian Renaissance in Tuscany, where my husband Mario still has family.?

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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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.

AAMILARIACS_2012 Item# 144713