2010 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1123431 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Larkmeadís entry-level 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate captivates all of the senses from the very first taste. A huge, opulent yet structured Cabernet, the 2010 shows off tons of richness, power and structure, all while maintaining considerable detail and nuance. Black currants, melted road tar and asphalt blast thorough to the intense, palate-staining finish. I canít imagine this being ready to drink before its 10th birthday. The 2010 is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. This is a great 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030. 95+ points. I was completely blown away by Larkmead this year. The 2010s are simply phenomenal across the board. This is also a vintage in which the different terroirs Larkmead works with are vividly marked. While many wineries are aggressively pushing the boundaries of pricing, Larkmead takes the opposite approach. The fashionable cult-loving crowd might look past these offerings, but savvy readers will recognize that Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignons in particular are some of the very best wines being made in Napa Valley today. If forced to choose one top-flight Napa Valley producer that remains under the radar, Larkmead would get my vote. These are spectacular wines that deserve a much broader audience. I canít say enough good things about what proprietor Cam Baker, winemaker Andy Smith and the entire team at Larkmead are doing at this historic property.  (12/ 2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (blended with 7% each merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc, plus 3% malbec; 62% new oak): Deep, bright ruby-red. Subdued but complex aromas of cassis, sage, bay leaf, licorice, violet and minerals. Sweet, suave and bright, with compelling inner-mouth energy and perfume to the dark berry, dark chocolate and iron flavors. Very suave and subtle blend with fine-grained tannins and captivating aromatic persistence. The 2009 was a big success but this may be finer with time in bottle. 93(+?) points  (6/ 2013)

K&L Notes

Larkmead's 2010 Cabernet is made from 100% estate-grown fruit and was aged for 20 months in 62% new French oak. From winemaker Andy Smith: "Savory dried herb, cocoa dust, graphite, intense black cherry core, cassis/mineral purity, menthol/tobacco and a subtle fragrant fennel edge. Immediate generous fruit richness. Soft and enveloping palate that maintains focus and clarity. Larkmead vineyard signature dominates with gravelly blackcurrant, complex herb notes, dark cocoa and clove. Long fine silky tannins, supple and lively that gain weight. Fruit sweetness develops with time in the glass... Our 2010 Estate Cabernet is the fullest expression of site that I can remember since the 2001 vintage. There's less emphasis on fruit extract and texture than there is on layered complexity and breezy freshness. The wine shows an effortless complexity and elegance that is not obscured by layers of bottled sunshine. It's sophisticated, not obvious and it's the combination of the wine's many nuances that form its beauty. All component parts are harmonious and integrated and it's among my favorite three or four vintages in my fifteen years at Larkmead."

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Price: $79.95

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Mťdoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.7