Iron Side Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (California), 2012
85% Cabernet Sauvignon
4% Petit Verdot
4% Petite Sirah
40% Paso Robles
29% Sonoma County
20% Napa Valley
How come there are 100 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon in your wine shop and so few that actually taste like Cab, that you can bring home for under $20 a bottle? This was the question we asked ourselves before asking Dave and Julie to work with us to assemble a Cabernet from some of California’s best regions that we could put in a bottle for the in inaugural vintage of Ironside.
The search began by reaching out to every grower and winery we knew for samples of wines they had for sale. Bottles were sent to David’s office in Healdsburg and the blending began. Two months later after FedExing dozens of potential blends to our office in Boston, we found a winner.
After blind tasting our wine against every major label of California Cabernet under $20 a bottle, we were confident that we were about to make every Cabernet lover a happier person. We gave it the name Ironside as a way to recognize the resilience and romance of California’s reputation for making Cabernet. It also happens to be the singular form of the nickname of a legendary vessel of docked outside our window in Boston harbor. We admire things that are well built and long-lasting.
The 2012 vintage in California was a glorious one. At the time it was the largest on record, only to be quickly surpassed by 2013. After two rough vintages, this was a blessing. In Napa and Sonoma, the growing season was long and sunny, with moderate rain and no frosts or heat spikes. The biggest challenge for most wineries was finding a place to crush the grapes! In Paso Robles, the weather was extremely sunny and hot, so much so that some wineries saw their harvest numbers decline due to water stress. The finished wines however had more texture and concentration as a result.
The 2012 vintage of Iron Side Cabernet Sauvignon is made from fruit grown in vineyards in the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Paso Robles. The final blend consists of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon plus 4% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot & Petite Sirah rounded out with 3% Merlot. Each of these grapes adds layers of aroma and texture to the Cabernet. Malbec adds richness, the Petit Verdot lends spice, Petite Syrah supplies power, and the Merlot a layer of earthiness.
The Napa Valley portion of Iron Side Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in a blend of new and one year old barrels for 10 months providing hints of vanilla and cedar.
Cellared and bottled by 90+ Cellars in Hopland, CA. 13.9% alcohol by volume. Contains sulfites.
Be sure to check out the 2013 vintage!