Mayo Clinic

One of the more opulent Sonoma cabs I’ve had in recent memory, but it IS a 12, and my feelings for that vintage are fairly predictable. 2012 for me is kinda an eye-rolling vintage, agreeable to the LCD and by association: the sweet-tooth of America.

Dark clear ruby, a gorgeous wine right out to the razor of a clear rim. Huge concentration in the nose, tons of oak and rich musky floral, none of which surpasses the gob-stopping WALL of dark, macerated cherry fruit. Nasal-cloggingly rich, thick with spicy blackberry jam, dirty leather armchair: coffee-stains, cigar-burns, dried ice-cream and all. A briary edge hints at far more, but it is a side-note to the luscious fruit–telling only slightly of minerality contained. Heady floral: a bouquet of lilies left on the table til they droop, sage and cinnamon, but again: NOTHING obfuscates the wall of dark fruit concentration. It’s pretty gorgeous stuff to smell, a California Cab-lover’s absolute fantasy. A tiny bit of tertiary materializes late-breathing, but at 8 it is tight as a drum. Tasting it will tell all.

In the mouth, the syrup imagined does not materialize. Oh sure, it is a blockbuster entry, but thankfully a bit more streamlined than pre-disposed by the nose. Biting and chewy–not a SPECK of age on it–it zings citrus peel and raspberry seeds down tea-bag corridors, the structure bringing more classic *cab* to the forefront than the predilections of bling-bro Napa from the nose. I don’t think this is mountain cab, it sings with the clarity and purpose from the best of the valley floor. The mouthfeel morphs effortlessly from cool elegant entry through chewy, abrasive middle and into the green, acidic polish of cherry against tannins not super-strong, but carrying their weight with a warning. A bit of heat tells me to predict a near-15-oh wine, but considering everything else going on in the glass: an unworrying point. This is a thick luscious wine,

This is a fun little winery right at the turn-off to Glen Ellen–one of my favorite Sonoma destinations. I have always been impressed with my stops there, not the least of which by their ridiculously good methode bubbly. I will never forget this winery, because once a young couple from Missouri came down the bar and asked me why I kept smelling my wine. Good times. Definitely not a household brand–one you might have even never heard of–but one I highly recommend checking out.

2012 MAYO FAMILY WINERY Cabernet Sauvignon Delaney Vyd Sonoma Co. 14.5

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