2012 Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder
 
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Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley 2012: Top Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Since 2007?

The 2012 vintage has already been touted as one of the most extraordinary in recent Napa Valley history. Particularly on the high slopes of Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain — Napa's most-prized high-elevation AVAs — the crop was bountiful (with yields often topping 3 tons per acre), clean, and concentrated.

But after three consecutive short harvests from 2008-2010 and the highly problematic 2011 vintage, wineries and growers, seeing the potential windfall at hand, took full advantage. Grape prices — already sky-high — ticked upwards. Bottle prices soared in the mountain appellations, particularly after Robert Parker wrote in the October 31st, 2013, issue of The Wine Advocate:

The resulting wines are exactly what we have come to expect from top years in Napa Valley — exuberant and boisterous, filled with oodles of ripe fruit, exceptional purity and fleshy, succulent, mouth-filling, crowd-pleasing personalities of considerable character and richness.

Our tasting notes of the top players on Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain mimicked Parker's enthusiasm. Sean Capiaux is set to release two of the most extravagant Cabernets of his tenure at O'Shaughnessy, one from each mountaintop. Lokoya is following suit, with absolute powerhouses drawn off their Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain strongholds. Bill Harlan's winemaker, Cory Empting, has crafted one of the most exciting Cabernets since Harlan first made his mark on Napa Valley in the early 1990s. Empting's 2012 Promontory is Harlan's first release off his latest acquisition on Mount Veeder, putting collectors on notice from NYC to Tokyo. Over at Hall, Parker rated Napa's newest superstar winery's Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 96-100 points, calling it still another "candidate for perfection" from the vintage!

Our strategy was split into two thrusts. On one hand, the large harvest gave us an edge, prying open cellar doors that had been shut tight during the short years. We continue to actively pursue every top mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Pritchard Hill, Mount Veeder, Howell and Spring Mountain. So far, we're feeling pretty good about our progress. Stay tuned...

On the other hand, as we cellar-hopped in the valley, we flexed our buying muscles whenever appropriate. With the 2013 crop almost as large and just as good as the 2012, some superb young winemakers found themselves with a load of phenomenal Cabernet Sauvignon in barrel, but insufficient cash reserves to pay for it. We were never so delighted to help out, making off with what we believe to be the most extraordinary mountain bargains in the seven-year history of WineAccess.

This one may be the best of all.

When we asked Chad Alexander to describe the 2012 vintage on Mount Veeder, the former head winemaker at Robert Craig could barely reign in his enthusiasm. "Those of us who have worked on the mountain for over a decade know the good, the bad and the ugly on Mount Veeder. The south and southwestern facings struggle to ripen in cool years. Up at Lokoya where it's fully exposed, heat spikes — like we had in 2010 — can cause blistering and desiccation." Alexander then stopped as he swirled the magnificent 2012 Carl Roy (named after the winemaker's grandfather) Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, smelled and sipped. "But when you have a year like 2007 or 2012 where it's warm but never hot, and the nights stay cool, there's nothing in Napa Valley like Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon."

The 2012 Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder is brilliant purple/black to the rim, infused with a plush mix of blueberry, black raspberry, mulberry, graphite and floral notes. Full-bodied, rich and sleek on the attack, packed with black-fruit preserves, this is beautifully polished mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that finishes with sweet, silken tannins. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism, or far better, do as we're doing: Lay this Mount Veeder powerhouse down for 10-15 years. It could use the rest.



Tasting Notes

2012 Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder
"The 2012 Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder is brilliant purple/black to the rim, infused with a plush mix of blueberry, black raspberry, mulberry, graphite and floral notes. Full-bodied, rich and sleek on the attack, packed with black-fruit preserves, this is beautifully polished mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that finishes with sweet, silken tannins. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism, or far better, do as we're doing: Lay this Mount Veeder powerhouse down for 10-15 years. It could use the rest."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

 

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