2012 Rudius Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1221567 92 points Wine Spectator

 This presents a riveting mix of jazzy, toasty, mocha-scented oak and firm, graceful notes of currant, dark berry, savory herb and loamy earth. Well-focused and persistent on the finish and impressively restrained. Drink now through 2027. 551 cases made. (JL)  (6/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As for the four cuvées of Cabernet Sauvignon from Jeff Ames, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa is sourced from three vineyards: Larkmead in Calistoga, Panek in St. Helena and Tierra Roja in Oakville. It sees about 60% new French oak and, like all of the red wines from Ames, bottled without fining or filtration. A perfumed style of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is in keeping with one of the hallmarks of the 2012s. This wine shows supple, round tannins, nice blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, a judicious touch of toasty oak and a round, juicy, rather succulent medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. It's seductive Napa Cabernet Sauvignon priced realistically, and should drink beautifully for at least another 10-15 years. Well-known winemaker Jeff Ames is the owner of his own brand called Rudius -- he is definitely a name to reckon with, having worked with Tor Kenwood making his wines, and has a successful enterprise with his own products. (RP)  (12/2015)

K&L Notes

"Rudius is a true family affair - Jeff oversees every move from vine to bottle, while Britt ("the brains of the operation," as Jeff likes to say) manages everything in between. Since its inception in 2005, Rudius has evolved from a young winemaker’s side project into a thriving family winery. We are lucky enough to work with an incredible portfolio of vineyards, and seeing how they complement each other in this blend is always an exciting experience for us. From the Larkmead Vineyard at the northern edge of the valley in Calistoga, to the Panek Vineyard in St. Helena, and our Clone 7 on the steep slopes of eastern Oakville, our Napa Valley Cab brings the Valley's foremost Cabernet appellations together in a single bottle, giving you the best of what we (and this beautiful wine country) have to offer. The Rudius portfolio isn‘t part of a planned strategy or structured system — it’s simply wish fulfillment. If we’re dying to work with 100 year old vines, we find a way to do it. If we want to add an extraordinary vineyard to our lineup, we make it happen. How else can you explain a Napa winemaker grafting Howell Mountain Cabernet over to Viognier? We’re THAT passionate about our vision, our land, and our craft." (The winery's note)

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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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.