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David's Wine Picks - 2012 California Cabernet Sauvignon

(posted: February 15th, 2016)

Wine glasses filled with red and white wines

In this column, published about once a quarter, David shares his passion for and expert knowledge of fine wines. In each post he offers several selections that provide great value.

He identifies wines for drinking now, which ones to put away for several years, and those that are worth enjoying now and laying in a supply for future enjoyment.

Enjoy David's Wine Picks, and let us know if there is something you'd like David to review in a future column.

2012 California Cabernet Sauvignon

California Cabernet Sauvignon produced a huge crop of great wines in 2012. This could be the best Napa and Sonoma vintage this century. A record size crop with many solid stars across the board.

My biggest problem with California Cabs is that they are getting to be as expensive as the best Bordeaux.

Here are a few of my top 2012 values you should buy:

Wine maker & Region...........................................................Year.....Rating....Price

Altamura - Napa Valley...........................................................2012.......95.....$90

Lewis - Napa Valley.................................................................2012.......94.....$90

Rodney Strong - Alexander Valley, Rockaway Single Vineyard....2012...94.....$75

Frei Brothers - Alexander Valley Reserve.................................2012.......92.....$27

Chateau St. Jean - Alexander Valley........................................2012.......91....$30

Beringer - Knights Valley..........................................................2012......90.....$32

Ferrari-Carano - Alexander Valley............................................2012.......91.....$30

Kendall Jackson - Alexander Valley.........................................2012.......90.....$36

Cameron Hughes - Napa Valley Lot 555...................................2012......90.....$29

All of these wines are well proportioned, with a core of dense berry, mocha, and vanilla flavors. Drink now or lay a few bottles down for a great experience four or five years from now.

Guide to Ratings, From Wine Spectator:

  • 95 - 100 Classic, a great wine
  • 90 - 94 Outstanding, a wine of superior style and character
  • 85 - 89 Very good wine, with special qualities

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