Masterpiece Vineyards 2012 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA; 14.3% ABV
$9 at the Richmond,  CA, on 26 Aug

Masterpiece_2012_CabernetI’m not totally sure what to make of this wine.  My best guess is that, after a few years of age, it will be a pretty nice Cabernet, but right now, it’s much too young.

On the first night, I immediately poured half into a 375ml bottle and stoppered it with very little air.  The other half was initially thin, red, and tart, with funky and bitter stemmy tannin.  During the 2.5 hours over which I drank it, it darkened some and filled out a little, but overall didn’t change that much and was not pleasant to drink.

On the second night, aiming to give this wine as much simulated aging as I could, I poured half of the remaining 375ml bottle into a single-glass screw-cap bottle.  The rest I poured in a glass and drank over a few hours.  It was definitely better than the first night, filling out and showing nice blackberry / blackcurrant along with the redder fruit and some earth.  However, it was still rather grape-juicy and little funky / bitter.  Chewing on wine, however, seemed to show more depth and complexity hiding within the tannic finish.

The last glass from the screw-cap bottle was at first quite inharmonious.  However, after a couple more hours of air, it smoothed out enough to be reasonably tasty, and encouraged my opinion that this will be pretty good with some years in proper storage.  I’ll hazard a Thumbs Up on this one, with the HUGE CAVEAT that you’ll need to wait a while.


4 thoughts on “Masterpiece Vineyards 2012 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. Alan

    Here’s another cabernet: Three Oaks North Coast Cabernet 2012, $4.99 at the Sonora, CA store. Was checking out, and the guy in front of me was buying a case of it. The nose was practically non-existent (“reticent”) upon opening, but really opened up after 2 hours in the decanter. Not over the top, as can be expected for North Coast, but a really solid, varietal cabernet for $5. I think this will get a lot better with some time in bottle. My wife is a really picky cabernet drinker, and she really liked. When I told her how much it was, she said buy a case. I went back and bought 2 cases.

  2. Mike

    Sounds like they tried to give it “structure” with thre addition of stems during the crush. Hard to say if it will lose that funky bitterness.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Mike. I wondered that myself, but decided to give the wine the benefit of the doubt. I recalled this wine (maybe not an apples to apples comparison) which, even nicely aged, tasted of stemmy bitterness for the first couple hours before airing to be quite good. With a number of interesting new wines here now, I’m somewhat averse to getting more of this one, but maybe I will to lay it down for a while and see how it turns out.

      Seedboy, to me Sonoma Cabs often have more of a vegetal character than, say, Napa Cabs. But this flavor is not that “vegetal character.” The fruit in there actually seemed nicely ripe and non-vegetal, but again I don’t really know how it will develop.


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