2012 Cadence "Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" Red Mountain Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1231336 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in 40% new French oak, the 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard has lifted notes of black raspberry, black cherry, violets, spring flowers and vanilla bean. This gives way to a full-bodied, thrillingly balanced and concentrated palate that has building tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish. Short-term cellaring is advised here, and it will have two decades or more of longevity. These latest releases from Ben Smith at Cadence are the best I’ve tasted from him. They all have classic Red Mountain characters, yet also have lots of finesse and elegance as well. While I normally don’t find much qualitative differences between his estate-vineyard releases (Cara Mia and Bel Canto) and his other two single-vineyard releases, in 2012 I thought the estate vineyard wines excelled. Lovers of Bordeaux variety wines need to get on this estate’s bandwagon ASAP. 94+ (JD)  (6/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Bright ruby-red. The dark berry aromas display a chocolatey ripeness and considerable early appeal. Then sweet, ripe and silky but with plenty of harmonious acidity and underlying minerality to energize the savory dark berry flavors. Finishes with big but thoroughly ripe tannins and plenty of structure for aging. I would not be surprised if this wine shut down in the bottle; it should be long-lived. (ST)  (11/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon each take up 38% of this blend, with the rest equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot. It captivates with aromas of black licorice, purple flowers, earth and herbs. The style is reserved, more focused on acid and tannin structure, but it still shows layers of textured fruit flavors. It will be best 2020-2030. (SS)  (11/2015)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Spicy, tangy and tingly, with crisp tannins around an open-weave core of blackberry, currant and floral flavors, gliding into the long, refined finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. (HS)  (11/2015)

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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 Médoc 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:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.