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2012 Passing Time Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1268040 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The first vintage and a collaboration between football stars Damon Huard and Dan Marino, Passing Time’s 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (14.5% alcohol) is made by Chris Peterson, of Avennia. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc that comes mostly from the Discovery Vineyard, it was vinified in stainless steel and aged 21 months in 80% new French oak. Classic Cabernet on the nose, with ample blackcurrants, cassis, damp earth, licorice and mint, this beauty is full-bodied, nicely concentrated and has integrated acidity building underlying structure. It will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and have two decades or more of ultimate longevity. Hats off to this team for a killer first release! (JD)  (6/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* This inaugural release from former NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard is a blend of 86% Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Klipsun Merlot and 5% Champoux Cabernet Franc. It's aromatically brooding at kickoff, with notes of dark coffee, dusty earth and cherry. The soft, smooth cherry and coffee flavors will benefit from additional time in the bottle, as this wine is more about elegance than sheer power. Give it until 2025–2030 to see it at its best; it has the stuffing to get there. (SS)  (5/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Broad, expressive and supple in texture, this offers cherry, dusky spice and melon flavors, lingering on the finish against savory tannins. Best from 2017 through 2022. (HS)  (8/2015)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. High-pitched nose offers scents of blackberry, licorice, violet, bitter chocolate and minerals, plus a whiff of cedary oak. Sweet, pliant and light on its feet on the front half, then more clenched on the back, showing a slightly medicinal character to its dark berry, violet and chocolatey oak flavors. A bit youthfully edgy today as the wine’s ripe fruit is battling its high, slightly streaky acidity. I’d like to see this wine again in four or five years. This promising attention-grabber is the first release from this new venture from ex-quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard; Chris Peterson is the winemaker here. (ST)  (12/2014)

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Price: $79.99
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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.


- 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.