- BlendCabernet Sauvignon
- WinemakerMike Smith
- RegionCalifornia North Coast
12C Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2017
You might not know the folks at this tiny, off-the-radar project, 12C, but if you love Napa cabernet, that’s about all you won’t recognize here! With fruit from the hallowed ground of Beckstoffer’s George III Vineyard, crafted by Thomas Rivers Brown’s most famous protege, Mike Smith (of Maybach, Myriad, and more…), this wine is primed to explode! 30% off the winery’s price…this is one of the more epic single-vineyard cabernet deals you’ll find in Napa!
Tucked away at the bottom of the Rutherford bowl on the eastern edge of the AVA, the Georges III Vineyard is one of Napa Valley’s most heralded and historic vineyards. Georges de la Tour, the founder of Beaulieu Vineyard, dubbed the site Vineyard No. 3 when he bought it in the 1920s. Napa Valley winemaking legend André Tchelistcheff crafted award-winning wines from Georges III in the 60s and 70s. When Andy Beckstoffer purchased the vineyard in 1988, he followed up with a full replant of the property to institute tighter spacing with new trellising improvements.
The folks at 12C were lucky enough to get a small parcel of fruit from the site some years back, thanks primarily to their association with Mike Smith. His Myriad Cellars cabernet sauvignon from George III has routinely received 96-98 point scores, and Andy Beckstoffer is nothing if not a savvy (some would say ruthless) businessman. Smith uses 100% cabernet sauvignon for 12C, saying, “Beckstoffer Georges III grows the most amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. I don’t need to blend with it. It’s a stand-alone Cabernet Sauvignon terroir.”
This rich and layered wine reflects the classic Rutherford Dust character which vintner, John Raudabaugh, describes as “uniqueness in terms of smokiness and … an anise taste.” Atop the dusty, earthy layer here, the wine is concentrated with dark black cherry and blackberry fruits, new leather, dark chocolate, violets, roasted fennel, and black peppercorn. Lush and generous, this wine is drinking in its prime here and now, with enough life to continue into maturity for another decade plus. The folks at 12C make only 200-300 cases of this wine each vintage, and this is certainly a wine to be sought out and drunk with carefree abandon! George III at this price? Just boggles the mind, it does. While it lasts!