2012 Cadence "Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" Red Mountain Bordeaux Blend
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. (JD)
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)
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.
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. Best from 2017 through 2022.