The utterly profound 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvée (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 75% new French oak) comes from a mix of vineyards, with one each in Calistoga, Howell Mountain, and Oakville. It shows what’s so compelling about the 2012 vintage and has an incredible bouquet of crème de cassis, kirsch, sweet earth, cedarwood, and exotic spices that just jumps out of the glass. This flows to a powerful, full-bodied, sexy Cabernet that has tons of fruit and texture, ripe, framing tannins, and a monster finish, all while staying weightless, silky, and flawlessly balanced. It’s an incredible, perfect wine from a great estate and a great vintage.
Absolutely perfect and one of the monumental wines of my long tasting trip in Napa is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvée. I didn’t see this from barrel last year. Aged 20 months in 75% new French oak and representing 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from three vineyard sources: one in Calistoga, one in Oakville and one in Howell Mountain. Robin Lail and winemaker Philippe Melka hit pay dirt with a wine that has an inky purple color, an almost amazing bouquet that reminded me of 1989 Chateau Montrose when it was young. Sweet almost truffle-infused earth, graphite, forest floor, blackcurrant and black cherry notes are followed by a full-bodied wine with a hint of mocha and licorice. Superb purity, an incremental, yet full-bodied mouthfeel, and an extravagant, layered texture and finish make for the finest wine Robin Lail has produced to date at her winery. Drink it over the next 25-35 years. 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. (RP)
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