2012 Anakota "Helena Dakota" Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1243987 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012s are the most showy and forward of the three vintages, which is not surprising, since the vintage is flamboyant and they are already three years of age. Even as impressive, but showing more truffles, charcoal, graphite and camphor, along with blackberry and cassis, is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota (1,017 cases). This wine shows even more fruit than its sibling and is bigger, bolder and slightly broader across the palate. All these wine are highly recommended and are brilliant efforts, but will probably need coaxing and patience in the cellar, given their rather bigger-than-life styles and richness. The winemaker behind the Anakota high-elevation mountain vineyard sites in Knights Valley is no other than Pierre Seillan, the Bordelais guru who makes the fabulous wines of Vérité from the same proprietor, the Jackson family. There are two cuvées from various elevations in Knights Valley, the lower elevation called Helena Montana and the higher site, the Helena Dakota. Production of these cuvées ranges from the smallest in 2013, with just over 500 cases of each produced, jumping to 700-800 in 2014 and a whopping 1,000-1,300 in 2012 -the most generous of the three vintages. These are all 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% French oak and are meant for long, long-term aging. I would suggest that these may be, potentially, the longest-lived wines being made in Knights Valley... (RP)  (10/2015)

92-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, deep ruby. Extremely primary nose hints at cassis, espresso and bitter chocolate; this is about as evolved as a Bordeaux during the Primeurs tastings six months after the harvest. Then surprisingly plush and rich, boasting superb volume and sappy verve to the black and blueberry, coffee and mocha flavors. The balance of sweetness and acidity is exhilarating. Strong underlying minerality gives shape and lift to the ripely tannic, very long finish. Splendid potential here. I tasted both this wine and the 2012 Montana from tank. (ST)  (5/2014)

92 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard has turned out beautifully. Mocha, dark cherries, plums, spices, new leather and tobacco meld together in a large-scaled, voluptuous wine built on intensity, texture and volume. This is one of the more overt Knights Valley Cabernets readers will come across. The vintage has softened some of the contours, which simply adds to the wine's considerable up-front appeal. A sweet, layered finish rounds things out in style. My sense is that the 2012 will be even better once some of the baby fat drops off, but the wine is undeniably delicious today. Pierre Seillan is best known for the wines he makes at Vérité, but the truth is his Anakota wines aren't that far behind in terms of quality. While Vérité is aimed at a very high level of consumer, Anakota, with its much friendlier pricing, delivers considerable value for the money within the realm of top-flight wines. The Helena Dakota is the more fruit-forward of the two Cabernets, while the Helena Montana will appeal more to readers who appreciate savory and mineral-inflected nuances in Cabernet. Interestingly, Sellian describes Helena Montana as the warmer and earlier-ripening of these two sites. The 2012s are voluptuous and racy - very much in the style of the year - with plenty of immediate appeal. The 2013s, on the other hand, are vibrant, pulsating Cabernets that will require at least a few years to blossom. As always, Pierre Seillan crafts bold, ripe Cabernets built on opulence.  (1/2015)

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Price: $109.99

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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.

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.


- 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.
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Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).