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Larkmead Solari Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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Winemaker Notes

The aromas of the 2012 Solari are so dense they are almost impenetrable. There is an intensity that builds over time. Earthy, wet loam gives way to bramble fruit and cassis-like aromas. With two hours in the glass the wine begins to show the subtleness of dried red and purple flowers and crushed gravel.

From the nose to the mouth this is an extremely powerful Cabernet Sauvignon. There is persistence on the palate as the expansive tannins push on your inner mouth and a core of fruit sweetness drives through the finish. The wine lingers longer than most with a black cherry sweetness in the dusty tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 70% new French oak) is even better than I thought last year. This spectacular wine boasts notes of white chocolate, hot gravel, crème de cassis, blackberries, licorice and forest floor. A subtle smoky barbecue character is noticeable in the background. This is a thrilling, full-bodied, majestic Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 25-30 years, although its tannic structure suggests cellaring it for 2-5 years will be beneficial.
JS 95
James Suckling
A wine with sliced mushroom, bark and spice plus berry and dark chocolate. Full body with forest flower, bramble, and light earth. Powerful and rich. A wonderful expression of cabernet sauvignon from here. Pure cab.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
A broad, rich, expansive expression of dark berry, currant, espresso and mocha, this hits all the right notes, with touches of savory herb and tobacco leaf. Most impressive on the lingering finish, where the flavors run deep. Drink now through 2030.
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Larkmead

Larkmead

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Larkmead, Napa Valley, California
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Larkmead Vineyards dates back to the late 1800s, and have been owned by the Solari family since 1948. The historic Larkmead Estate is comprised of 145 acres. Due to the dramatic variation in soil types, the vineyard is divided into three distinct areas in order to maximize fruit and subsequent wine quality while diversifying flavor profiles for blending purposes. The true character of Larkmead and its unique wines are a direct result of the topography, climate, and the exceptional geology of the soils.

Larkmead is 100% Estate fruit; it is therefore imperative to them that they treat the land as a polyculture system with all factors interrelated and focus on long term soil health. They are always seeking environmentally sound, long term solutions that promote the natural expression of their vineyards, resulting in wine that is unique in its purity, texture, and complexity.

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.

JCL344633_2012 Item# 344633