2012 Lail Vineyards "Blueprint" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon(1.5L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As for the red wines, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Blueprint, which comes from four sources spread from Southern Napa Valley in Coombsville to the largest source-a vineyard in Calistoga-is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot aged 17 months in about one-half new French oak. Dense ruby/purple, it has the dramatic ostentatious and flamboyant style of 2012 imprinted all over it. Terrific cassis fruit, a hint of blueberry, licorice, tar, and camphor all are present in this full-bodied opulent, sexy and sensual wine. Drink it over the next decade. The Lail Family can trace their wine history back five generations to 1879, when their great-granduncle Gustave Niebaum founded none other than the iconic Inglenook Vineyards. Robin Lail, who is essentially the force and face of Lail Vineyards, was also a co-partner of Dominus with Christian Moueix until he purchased her interest. They produce four wines, Blue print Sauvignon Blanc, a Cabernet Sauvignon and their flagship wines, Georgia Sauvignon Blanc and J. Daniel cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon. This winery, with winemaking consultant Philippe Melka, continues to have the Midas touch. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep, bright ruby. Very ripe aromas of candied blackberry and licorice are enlivened by a minty nuance. At once bigger and more pristine than the 2011 version, offering good density to its black cherry and dark chocolate flavors. Finishes with substantial but ripe tannins and a leathery nuance. This wine had been racked into tank just prior to my tasting.
Governed first and last by deep and defined Cabernet fruit and decked out with very nice oak in both kind and measure, Lail's 2102 Blueprint is already showing a fair sense of layered richness even though it has the build and the tannic structure of wine destined to grow for many years. Make no mistake, this is very good stuff, and, but for its slight finishing misstep of being a little too hot, it would easily warrant unqualified two-star endorsement.
Black cherry, mocha, spices, menthol and new leather meld together in Lail's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Blueprint. Dark, sensual and totally voluptuous, the 2012 captures the opulent side of the year to the fullest. Robin Lail's family boasts a rich lineage that goes back to the 1800s, and her granduncle, Gustav Niebaum, who founded Inglenook. Subsequently, Lail was a founder of both Dominus and Merryvale. Curiously, despite her deep Napa Valley roots, Lail has chosen to make big, powerful wines that emphasize richness and opulence. Her two Sauvignon Blancs are intense whites with a real sense of phenolic richness. In the best vintages both Sauvignons are magnificent. But beyond that, they are totally unique and different from anything else being made in Napa Valley. The Cabernets are similarly thick, full-throttle wines made with an approach that favors late harvests and high levels of ripeness. By any standard - including the many other wines made by consulting oenologist Philippe Melka - these are among the ripest, most opulent Cabernets in Napa Valley today. I imagine some readers will adore this style. Personally I find the Lail Cabernets excessively heavy, lacking in freshness and on the edge of being raisined.