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The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2012

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15.2% ABV
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4.2 29 Ratings
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4.2 29 Ratings
15.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine has a deep ruby red hue that is framed in rich crimson. Aromas of black cherry and plum, surrounded by roasted coffee beans and vanillin oak accents. The entry is powerful and lush with flavors of bing cherry, blueberry and cocoa. Soft and velvety tannins round out the finish making this wine approachable and inviting.

"The 2012 vintage was truly a great vintage. Mother Nature was kind to us and we are really happy about the quality of the fruit. It was a slow and cool growing season that allowed for great hang time and optimal ripeness. We really had fun tasting and blending this wine because we had so many great lots to work with."
Jen Beloz, Winemaker

Blend: 46% Zinfandel, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petite Sirah12% Syrah & 2% Charbon

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are 20,000 cases of the 2012 The Prisoner, which is an interesting blend of 46% Zinfandel, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon,18% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah, and a small amount of Charbono. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a big, peppery, meaty, Rhone-like bouquet with hints of bay leaf, unsmoked cigar tobacco, black currants and sweet jammy cherries. Medium to full-bodied and explosively fruity, this is a lovely, hedonistic, seriously endowed red to drink over the next 3-4 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Ripe, jammy and sweet, this is loaded with toasty oak. Subtle this is not, loaded with flavor, offering notes of black cherry, chocolate, licorice and cinnamon spice. Should appeal to fans of the style. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono.
JS 90
James Suckling
A juicy and ripe red with dried berry and currant. Hints of raisins too. Full body, soft and round tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of zinfandel and cabernet. Big wine. Drink now.
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The Prisoner Wine Company

The Prisoner Wine Company

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The Prisoner Wine Company, Napa Valley, California
2012 The Prisoner
The Prisoner Founder and Winemaker Dave Phinney’s deep respect for the vineyards is rooted in an early attempt to make a sophisticated wine from a difficult site. Although he was frustrated by a situation that had him using every tool at his disposal and still coming up short, he learned lessons that inform his vineyard selection process now.

"I came away from that experience with the unshakable belief that if you put your emphasis on the vineyard, what follows is much easier," he says. "The vineyard is everything."

Most of Phinney’s time is spent exploring vineyard sites, meeting with growers and selecting the fruit that will be vinified and blended into The Prisoner. His method for vineyard selection includes assessing the site, soil, varietal, grower and provenance, or the history, of the vineyard.

"Sometimes one of these aspects is enough, other times it's a combination of a few of these elements," he says. "With provenance, looks can be deceiving, so you have to trust in the track record of a vineyard as opposed to what you see. Occasionally you step into a vineyard and can't get to your phone fast enough to call the grower and lock up the grapes. Those experiences are one of a kind."

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

PIOCAHN_RBP12_2012 Item# 120629

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