2012 Volker Eisele, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.
The new Volker Eisele releases are lovely wines with deep layers and purity, especially this 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon that really offers classic Napa flavors at a fair price, which is hard to find in these days of $125 and sometimes very average at best wines, this Cabernet shows plenty of personality and character that outshines many offering that are seriously twice or three times the price. The Volker Eisele lineup includes “Gemini” a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon white Bordeaux style white, this Cabernet and “Terzetto” the top Bordeaux style red blend, all of which are well worth checking out for their quality and pedigree. I’ve been a fan of Volker Eisele Cabernet since the late 90’s and they have never let me down, and it’s great that they are still a small family fun winery, always a plus in these times. The 2012 vintage is just now starting to show it’s true nature with expressive fruit starting to open up and over take the vintage’s forceful tannins, allowing the balance and harmony to shine through, even though this is a year to cellar for a bit longer and certainly the best can age for another 2 decades with ease, and while this Volker Eisele Cabernet can go another 10 years, it can be enjoyed even now. The 2012 Volker Eisele Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley starts with a dark garnet/purple color in the glass and a bouquet of acacia/violet floral notes along with dark berries, graphite and smoky vanilla leading to a full bodied palate of blackberry, creme de cassis, black cherry and mulberry fruits that unfold in dense layers as well as hints of briar, sage, sweet tobacco, cedar and licorice. This is mouth filling Cabernet and is quite firm and tightly wound with impressive length when given a chance to expand, swirling and air really gets things going and heightens the experience, but I’d advise drinking this beautiful red with robust cuisine, in particular meats and hard cheeses. Delicacy will come here in the years to come, background mineral and lingering currants reminds me a bit of a warm vintage (like 2003, 2009 and 2005) Margaux, though of course it is first and foremost a Napa Valley Cabernet and a proud Californian, best from 2020-2030.
($53 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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