Saturday, January 11, 2014

Joseph Carr Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Joseph Carr Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

We've had several vintages of Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon from the Carneros appellation down at the bottom of Napa Valley where it meets Sonoma, an area more known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We found them to be moderate priced good value every day drinking wines.  Joseph Carr was an award winning Sommelier and international wine industry executive who set out on his own in 2005 and founded Joseph Carr Winery in Carneros, California. Carr are a family owned company dedicated to making quality handcrafted wines working with small growers, coopers and winemakers producing elegant, sophisticated, yet approachable wines from Napa Valley, Carneros, and the North Coast of California. The Josh label is named after Carr's father, and they strive to make wines that are "expressive, but unassuming and approachable – just like him".

This particular label comes from a single vineyard in the mountains of the Red Hills sitting at the highest section between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges. The Mayacamas range is the eastern facing slope that forms the western edge of Napa Valley, known for great Cabernet wines, due in part to ancient pyroclastic soils that contain volcanic glass. Josh Cellars North Coast Vineyards contain obsidian gravel that allows the soils to drain well, which is extremely important for growing Cabernet grapes. The high elevation sunlight combined with the rich volcanic red soils and obsidian fragments produce quality grapes that are extremely unique to the Red Hills. The vineyard itself sits on an East facing slope with varying altitude from 1200 to 2000 feet. The average daytime summer temperature is 84 degrees with an average nighttime temperature of 51 degrees. For the past 10 years, all grapes have been organically grown and sustainably farmed. 

This wine displays a dark garnet with a deep purple hue, is medium to full bodied; aromatic dark fruits and baking spices give way to blackberry fruit, dried fig, vanilla bean and nuts with a somewhat funky damp wood and earthy barnyard sense that detracts from the fruit, turning to lingering fine, firm tannins. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot.

RM 84 points.

This is a complex full wine that otherwise would be a great value at under $15 were it not for the offsetting aftertaste. Some folks may find it acceptable, certainly at this pricepoint. I was glad I only bought one bottle to try and will not buy more, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for follow on vintage releases and would not be surprised to find great QPR quality offerings.