Our Napa Wine Experience 2013 started with a trip to lower Howell Mountain east of the town of St Helena, still in the Napa Appellation, to visit John Arns at Arns Estate Vineyards.
Dining at Cole's Chop House, Napa -
From the restaurant winelist, on the (excellent) recommendation of our server, we selected 'Twelve C' Rutherford Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.
Arns Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
RM 92 points.
Arns Imprompt2 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2 is a multi-vintage blend of wine from the vintage barrel selections remaining from the various blocks from the 2005 – 2009 vintages, wines that were not blended into the Arns Estate Cabernet. Comprised of small lots from the earlier and more recent vintages set aside for this special blend it provides a melange with unique character and flavors. A pleasant drinking wine, this lacked the intensity and focus of the flagship Estate Grown Cabernet but its a unique tasting experience on offer directly from the producer.
Medium bodied with a elements of black berry, black currant and black raspberry fruits with a melange of flavors - cherries, anise, mulberry, and hints of chocolate and spice complexity with a moderate finish.
RM 88 points.
Twelve C Rutherford Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Named for the 12 degrees centigrade, 55 degrees fahrenheit, the natural cave cellar temperature which is the ideal temperature at which red wine should be stored for aging.
A single-vineyard designated 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the prestigious Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford, Napa Valley. The second release of winemaker Mike Smith who learned winemaking under the direction of Thomas Brown beginning in 2001. He travel from Portland Oregon to work for free for three years to learn the craft before becoming full-time assistant to Thomas. They worked together on several labels including Schrader, Maybach and Outpost. Starting his own wine projects at the Black Sears Winery, 12C wines were crushed alongside these greats. Today 12C is now being custom crushed at Envy Estate Winery.
Paraphrasing the winemaker, this embodies 'power and structure into one seamless package, deep garnet color; scents of dark raspberries, cassis, lavender and dark chocolate, intertwined with a lush and velvety texture followed by soft and powered tannins gliding to the finish - elegant yet muscular, with both deftness and grace.'
Medium to full bodied, dark garnet colored, nicely balanced, smooth polished, complex flavors of blackberry and black cherry with a layer of mocha and tones of floral, vanilla and sweet oak with a moderate lingering tannin finish.
RM 91 points.
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