12C Cabernet – Rutherford Dust Done Right

“Rutherford dust” – an often referred to terroir-driven characteristic of Cabernet Sauvignons produced in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley. This flavor profile is commonly described as an allspice-dusty-berry combination.

Now that you have that…

One of the boutique wine producers in this area is 12C, a small firm owned by John and Joyce Raudabaugh and named after the ideal wine storage temperature in degrees Celsius. Producing wines for a very short time, they have quickly garnered attention from in-the-know vinophiles by securing grapes from the famed Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III and employing the services of artisan Cabernet maker Mike Smith who has worked with Schrader and Maybach among others.

12C’s sophomore vintage, the 2008, displays what winemaker Smith refers to as “soaring aromas of dark red fruits, minerality and subtle barrel spice”. With a rich and velvety mouthfeel, Smith says the wine finishes with “red fruits, sandalwood spice and Belgium chocolate notes”.

With only 125 cases of the 2008 produced and the 2007 vintage long gone, you’d better buy what you can find. An excellent example of Rutherford Cabernet and highly recommended!