Thursday, January 8, 2015

Faust Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

Faust Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

Agustin Huneeus is a legend in the winemaking world - for all of the wines he has produced, the underlying premise has been that great wines must be a reflection of a great vineyard. With Faust Wine, he takes a different tact -- this wine is a tribute to Napa Valley’s noblest grape. He seeks out Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from his family-owned vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville, plus small lots from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs in Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak and St. Helena. Crafted by Charles Thomas of Quintessa, the Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.

Last year I got to taste the 2011 version of this wine, so it's neat to look back at my tasting notes and see the differences. The biggest immediate difference is in the varietal composition: the 2011 featured 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc, while the 2012 has 80% Cabernet, 16% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Both feature hand-picked grapes, double-sorted and crushed, then cold-soaked and fermented in both French oak and stainless steel tanks. Both were aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, 30% new. The 2012 does come in a little less expensive, at $50 versus the 2011's $60.

A deep ruby red color, the nose is redolent with red plum, blackberry, dark cherry, cocoa and tobacco aromas. Flavors of blackberries, cocoa, dark cherry, plums, and blueberries. Lush, layered, complex, in a word, fantastic. Buy many to drink now, cellar, and watch this wine develop over time.

Sample provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.

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