2012 Cadence "Bel Canto-Cara Mia Vineyard" Red Mountain Washington Red Wine (Previously $60)

SKU #1231340 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I think the most approachable in the lineup, the 2012 Bel Canto has a complex, perfumed style in its dried flowers, dried spices, vanilla and black cherry and black raspberry-like fruit profile. A blend of 84% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot that spent 20 months in 50% new French oak, it’s full-bodied, concentrated and structured on the palate, yet has perfect balance and a great texture. Few in the US are doing Cabernet Franc better this, and I suspect it will hold nicely for 15-20 years. 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.  (6/2015)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Cabernet Franc (84%) takes the lead on this wine with the balance equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot. It opens with aromas of flowers, dried herbs, earth and mineral. The mouthfeel is dazzling, showing depth and intensity, with enough structure to go the distance.  (11/2015)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good dark red. Deep nose offers scents of cherry, plum, spices and stony minerality. Silky, tactile and thick; a bit muted today but offers great sweetness of fruit and a saline suggestion of strong dry extract. Quite powerful, and tighter today than the Camerata, which is not typical. Finishes with a superb tannic spine and outstanding persistence. Offers splendid long-term aging potential. This wine spent 23 months in 50% new oak from Taransaud, Darnajou and Sylvain.  (11/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Good dark red. Deep nose offers scents of cherry, plum, spices and stony minerality. Silky, tactile and thick; a bit muted today but offers great sweetness of fruit and a saline suggestion of strong dry extract. Quite powerful, and tighter today than the Camerata, which is not typical. Finishes with a superb tannic spine and outstanding persistence. Offers splendid long-term aging potential. This wine spent 23 months in 50% new oak from Taransaud, Darnajou and Sylvain. "Two thousand thirteen was surprisingly nice for a hot year," said Ben Smith in July. "The vineyards were in great shape, and hanging more fruit than normal: about 2.8 tons vs. 2.0. The year was hotter than 2012 (3,100 total heat units vs. 2,874 in '12) but the wines have more energy than I expected. Smith picked at 24.5 to 25 degrees Brix, noting adding that he had finished harvesting before "the big cool-down. I'm looking to achieve a finer 2011-like structure in the hotter vintages." He also told me that he has cut back on extraction in 2013 and 2014--"plus I'm getting older." Smith described 2012 as "a wonderfully silky, classic Washington vintage with statistically average heat units."  (7/2015)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Firm and chewy, with tannins around a sleek core of licorice-accented blackberry and currant fruit that keeps welling up as the finish persists with elegance. Harmonious. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2018 through 2022. 290 cases made.  (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.