We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
Cairdean- Scottish Gaelic for friends
Of all the beloved grapes growing in Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon is by far one of the most widely planted and respected of all. The cost per ton from the Stags Leap District alone should give us all an indication of the power Cabernet has over the entire valley. Having said that, I firmly believe the best Cab Sauvs on the planet come from this tiny stretch of northern California. Wines with character, power, and finesse reign.
Cairdean Vineyards, St Helena, was founded in 2010 by husband and wife Edwin and Stacia Williams. I recently got my hands on a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2012 vintage for review. This wine comes packaged in a standard Bordeaux style bottle, with a very simple, yet classy logo on the label, as well as the top of the capsule. In the glass, this wine pours a dark ruby with a magenta rim. The nose is very straightforward offering teases of blackberry, cassis, leather, and cedar box. The palate drives home black fruits, a chalky mouthfeel, and a hint of jam on the back of the palate. This particular bottle is not an overdone powerhouse; it is more reserved and elegant, but strong willed and firm. It reminds me of some of the smoother Cabs coming from Calistoga.
- Cairdean Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 vintage, bottle number 17,407
- Appellation: Napa Valley AVA
- Grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Clarity/brightness: Clear/bright with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: Medium plus
- Acidity: Medium plus
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Medium
- Alcohol by volume: 14.3%
- Cases produced: 1,675
Overall I really dig this wine, although I typically prefer the rhino sized Cabs from the valley that are so big and tannic they nearly rip your gums right out of your mouth. This wine is very well balanced, while elegant and powerful all the same. It is rich and chalky, with nicely retained acids. In my opinion, it has a several more years in it for cellaring, but I personally don’t think it is going to change much for the better over the coming years. I say drink it now as a silky fruit-bomb, or drink in a few years for a mellowly aged beauty.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.