"The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Cherryblock is another brilliant effort from Sebastiani. Dark black cherry, blackcurrant, plum, licorice and forest floor characteristics are present in this inky, opaque ruby/purple-colored wine. Full-bodied with supple tannins, a multilayered mouthfeel, and plenty of purity, flavor depth and length, it is approachable now, but should age effortlessly for 15 or more years." (WA)
Since its creation, Cherryblock has been our flagship wine at Sebastiani. The majority of the fruit (87.5%) came from our original Old Vines block of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1961. The wine also features a portion of fruit from younger vines on our estate. Small amounts of Malbec and Merlot were sourced from nearby sites with similar climates and soils. Our goal is to create a benchmark Cabernet that possesses the elegance, structure and terroir-driven aromatics only found in Cherryblock.
2012 was a long growing season without heat extremes. Crop set was higher than usual for Cabernet, but still exhibits ample color and extraction. A warm late September brought in enough heat to fully ripen Cabernet by early to mid October. We harvested the grapes October 20th – October 28th, 2012.
After harvest, the grapes were crushed, de-stemmed and hand sorted using our “micro-crush” equipment to eliminate any stem pieces (jags) and botrytised berries. We also did a cold soak and saignée to enhance color and concentration. After pressing, each lot was blended or egg-white fined depending on its characteristics. The wine was aged for 14 months in French oak barrels, 70% of which were new.
The red-purple 2012 has strong cherry liquor and blackberry aromas followed by terroir notes of graphite and pencil shavings. A fruit-forward wine, the first attack is black cherry with cassis, but then moves into notes of cigar box and sandalwood oak on the nose. The tannins frame the generous fruit nicely, yet are ripe and balanced. The finish of cherries and dusty Cabernet is lingering. This wine will improve over the next 7 to 10 years, but also enjoyable now with 1 to 2 hours of prior decanting. -Mark R. Lyon, Winemaker