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Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • W&S91
  • JS90
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.4 19 Ratings
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4.4 19 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2012 growing season was near perfect, with ideal spring budbreak and warm, steady days balanced by cool nights. The steady weather continued into the fall, resulting in optimal ripening conditions at harvest. The 2012 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon opens with notes of blueberry, rose petals and violets, which are balanced by a cleansing minerality and silky tannins.

Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The star of the Mt Brave trio of new releases is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. There are nearly 5,800 cases of this fairly priced Cabernet. Blueberry, licorice, beef blood, tobacco leaf and forest floor aromas soar from the glass of this ripe, full-bodied, opulent wine. A blend of 87.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.5% Merlot and the rest tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, it was aged in 81% new French oak. The oak component is well-concealed behind the extravagant fruit. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
A muscular, tight-knit style, with firm, dense, well-proportioned notes of dark berry, crushed rock and graphite. Impressively lively acidity keeps the flavors jumping on the finish, ending with an earth-laced red berry core. Drink now through 2030.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Chris Carpenter blends this wine from the varied expositions of the Mt. Brave vineyard, an estate planted by Château Potelle at 1,400 to 1,800 feet and purchased by the Jackson family in 2007. It’s a big wine with ample blue fruit layered over conifer scents and rustic, earthy tannins. With the immediacy and brash power of Veeder, this wine would mellow in a decanter, to pour alongside a grilled steak, though it will prove more accommodating with a few years in bottle.
JS 90
James Suckling
Loads of blueberries and spices on the nose. Medium body, firm and chewy tannins and a fresh finish.
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Mt. Brave

Mt. Brave

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Mt. Brave, California
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Mt. Brave is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of those who settled the rugged terrain of Mt. Veeder during the 1800s and an homage to the Wappo Indians, "the brave ones," who were the original inhabitants of this extraordinary place. The Mt. Brave Vineyard, once the Chateau Potelle Vineyard, was established decades ago at elevations ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. While Mt. Veeder is cool, Mt. Brave sits above the fog line, with morning sun warming the grapes each day. Soils are a sparse, gravelly loam. Nutrients and minerals are scant, resulting in tiny berries with concentrated and complex flavors. At harvest, small lug boxes must be carefully moved up and down the steep slopes to protect both vines and vineyard workers.

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Mt. Veeder

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Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.

Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.

The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.

Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.

Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. 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 from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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.

RGL4001253SX_2012 Item# 147735