2012 Vine Hill Ranch "VHR" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1223301 93-96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full medium ruby. Knockout aromas of black raspberry, dark chocolate, minerals and wild herbs, plus a hint of menthol; suggests a more even ripening of the grapes than the 2011. Boasts an outstanding combination of fruit depth and energy, displaying superb intensity to the silky, mineral-driven flavors of raspberry, sage and forest floor. A real essence of western Oakville soil. Finishes with great slow-building length and lift, the ripe tannins perfectly supported by fruit. This is likely to be more pliant on release than the splendid though relatively austere 2010 was. (ST)  (5/2014)

96 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has filled out and put on considerable weight over the last year. Even with all of its overtness and intensity, the 2012 is far from accessible. This is one of the more primary 2012s readers will come across, so patience is going to be critical. Smoke, mocha, dark red cherry, menthol, licorice and savory notes flesh out on the racy, voluptuous finish. Drops of Petit Verdot make an appearance in the blend for the first time. Vine Hill Ranch's 2012 is one of the resounding successes of the vintage. (AG)  (10/2015)

95 points James Suckling

 A glorious red with clay, tile, dark fruit and dusty texture. Full body, ripe tannins and a long and rich finish. Very, very long and intense. A beauty. Drink or hold.  (7/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Vine Hill Ranch VHR exhibits the exuberance and boisterous characteristics of this vintage, with plenty of Christmas fruitcake, cedar wood, licorice, black currants galore, a stunningly full-bodied texture, purity, and opulence. Rich and dense, with soft tannins and relatively low acidity, this is a gorgeous wine to drink now and over the next 20+ years. Vine Hill Ranch has a brilliant team working on the vineyard, with Mike Wolf as their viticultural manager, and former Araujo winemaker and co-owner of the small boutique label Drinkward Peschon, Françoise Peschon, as their winemaker. These are the best wines I have ever tasted from this relatively large, 70-acre vineyard in Oakville. (RP)  (12/2015)

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Price: $199.99
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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 M├ędoc 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.