Friday, December 30, 2016

Silverado Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Silverado Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

The local independent wine shop, Peterson's, had this Estate Napa Cab blend available in half bottles so I picked up a few to try and to have available for future consumption/tasting. I opened this one to try before buying more. Based on this tasting, I'll opt out of getting any more, let alone a case, content on having a few for suitable drinking.

Often, I hear folks speak of having bought a case of a particular wine, sometimes without having tasted it first. I learned a long time ago that if I am going to buy a case of a wine, I better really enjoy it since life is too short to drink wine you don't enjoy. Moreover, having multiple different wines vs. multiple bottles of an particular wine, affords the option of trying more labels and vintages. This to me is part of the adventure and fun of tasting wine. Hence, I'll most often opt to acquire more, different wines, than larger quantities of a particular wine.

So it was that I acquired four bottles of this to try, to determine if I wish to go get more, and so in any event,  I have a couple half bottles in the cellar for appropriate occasions. I write in here often about the convenience and suitability of a having a 375ml half bottle.

This came across as a bit obtuse, with the pronounced ripe plum and black cherry fruits having a bit of a sharp edge, lacking polish and balance. The concentrated and firm fruits were accented by tones of earth, mineral and hints of anise and a layer of sweet cherry on the moderate tannin lingering finish. Several Cellartracker tasters noted this may benefit from more time in the bottle to settle and perhaps round out that edge.

RM 87 points.

P.S. - I customarily save some wine to taste the next day or even the day thereafter. Two days later, this was indeed smoother and more approachable, warranting another point to 88 score.

This is a blend of  81% Cabernet, 15% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. The fruit is sourced from multiple Estate Napa Valley vineyards from Stag's Leap District (60%),  Mt. George Vineyard (33%) and Oakville Station (7%).

Many visitors to Napa Valley have passed by, or even visited Silverado Vineyards, on the Silverado Trail along the eastern arterial route of Napa Valley. Few realize the land/vineyard holdings of the producer extend far and wide up and down the valley beyond their primary Stag's Leap District site. Indeed, Silverado represent having six different vineyards sites. Some are for the traditional Bordeaux varietals while a couple are dedicated to Chardonnay.

On their website, Jon Emmerich, Winemaker is quoted as saying, "This is a great wine growing property. Each one of the vineyards has its own distinctive flavors and character. We work to make better use of the land, to farm it better, to help each block express exactly what and where it is. I believe that’s how to make wine." Indeed, having such vineyard assets affords a producer greatest control over their sourcing and branding over time.

The term Estate on a wine bottle designates that all (75%?) of the fruit in the bottle was sourced from proprietor owned sites, rather than purchased from contract or independent growers. While this provides the ability for consistency over time and across vintages, the diversity of the vineyard sites in this particular wine, defies this wine having any sense of terroir. Such a designation would be allocated to their premium label (s).

Generally, the rules dictate that for the wine to be labeled a particular varietal, in this case Cabernet Sauvignon, and from a particular location, Napa Valley, 75% of the grapes need to comply with that designation. In other words, at least 75% of the fruit in this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon, and 75% of the fruit came from Napa Valley.