The exploration of the blockbuster 2012 Napa vintage continues. With a 'textbook perfect' vintage, there are likely to be some blockbuster wines, and great high QPR values from the second and lesser labels as the vintages releases are introduced.
|Caravan 2011 shown|
Caravan generally tends toward a more fruit-driven palate and forward profile, less sophisticated and complex than the Darioush 'Signature' label. This release is a blend of 14% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec to add finesse to the Cabernet and complexity to the finish.
From the winery: "A fabulous vintage produced a stylish and substantial 2012 Caravan with a firm, structured palate and sleek, polished tannins. Offering saturated flavors of dark cherry and blueberry as well as notes of chocolate and white truffle; this is a round, supple and thoroughly approachable wine ready to be open and enjoyed."
We're big fans of Darioush but have never been enamored with this second label. The Darioush presentation of Caravan is interesting in how it positions Caravan - "Caravan is borne of the exploration of new vineyard sites for our Signature wines. Made in an approachable style, Caravan supports winemaking experimentation and vineyard enhancement."
We ordered a bottle of this with son Ryan, at the bar of the rustic Herrington Inn in Geneva where we were attending the wedding celebration of daughter-in-law's brother. After tasting the big robust Paul Hobbs Crossbarn, (which was also on the winelist), Caravan with its narrower and more subdued fruit comes across like a prop vs a jet.
Ruby colored, medium bodied, the austere profile was apparent in the glass. Initially a bit lean and narrow, the cherry fruit was quickly overtaken by tones of graphite, anise, leather and coffee with a hint of mocha and truffle. This showed much better later in the evening against the table wine served at the banquet we were attending. Big fans of Darioush but never here-to-for captivated by this second label, that trend continues. Perhaps another try will reveal it in a better light.
RM 87 points.