2012 Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
90 Points - Wine Advocate
Early through late October 2012.
Grapes were harvested at an average of 25.1° Brix.
65% new barrels; 100% French Oak. Total time in barrel: 18 months
Appearance exhibits a deep ruby hue. Aromas are layered with berry and flavors of cherry, cassis and plum. There is a core minerality with lavender tones. The oak is well integrated and has nice toast aroma with hints of vanilla and wild sage. On the palate the wine is lush and firm but also has mature tannins and supple texture. This wine can be enjoyed now and will age for 10 years.
Vineyards range from our bench land site in Yountville to Northern St. Helena. The clonal selection includes Cabernet Sauvignon 337, 4 and 6. The soils are alluvial fan and volcanic rock at an elevation between 70– 548.6 meters (200–1800 feet) above sea level.
Fruit was rigorously hand-sorted and fully destemmed to small stainless steel tanks with light crushing. Cold soaks (5-7 days), warm fermentations between 29– 32°C (85-90°F), and moderate pumpovers twice each day. Total skin contact ranged from 19-34 days with all fermentations being carefully basket pressed and put to barrel on full fermentation lees for malolactic fermentation (ML). Racking was twice per year with only one assemblage being done to allow the blend to “marry” in barrel. Barrels for final blend were hand selected by taste. Native yeast and ML used with only small lots conducted using cultured Bordeaux isolates. Bottled without filtration.
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
The 2012 growing season was ideal in the Napa Valley. We had to green thin three passes to balance crop. This is a year that allows the winemaker many options it will be a memorable vintage.
2,700 cases produced.