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94pt Col Solare Red 2012

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When two of the world's great wine producers join forces to create a shared vision – to craft Washington's best Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine using fruit from the region’s top vineyards - then you know the results are going to be superb!

That shared vision is Col Solare, 'Shining Hill' in Italian, a product of the huge wine expertise of Tuscany's Antinori (makers of celebrated wines Tignanello and Solaia) and Washington's Chateau Ste Michelle.

This coming together of wine genius, allied to grapes grown in Washington's premier wine region, Red Mountain, has created a stunning Cabernet-based blend that ranks amongst the best wines being produced in the US.

Improving year on year, the 2012 is perhaps the best yet, uniting critics and Vivino reviewers (4.4 stars!) alike in their praise for the wine.

Rich, silky and full of plush New World fruit, Col Solare truly deserves its exalted position!

About the wine

Deep and dark in the glass, the Col Solare shows complex aromas of blackberry fruit along with some black cherry and plum notes, all blended with subtle notes of anise, spice, graphite and cocoa. Rich and concentrated on the palate, it remains very elegant with super silky tannins framing layers of delicious ripe black fruit. A long finish sees a savoury note that adds to the wine's complexity and enjoyment. A super wine!

To make the 2012 Col Solare, the hand-picked grapes were carefully de-stemmed and sorted before being gently crushed and fermented on the skins for an average of 14 days. The wine was removed from the skins and placed into 100% new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. Racking occurred every three months during the first 12 months of ageing, and every four months for the balance of the 22-month ageing period, to soften tannins and enhance the fruit qualities of the wine. 

Winemaker: Darel Allwine
Appellation: Red Mountain, Washington

- 94pts, Robert Parker Wine Advocate
- 94pts, International Wine Report
- 93pts, Wine Enthusiast
- 92pts, Vinous
- 17/20pts, Jancis Robinson
- 4.4/5 Stars, Vivino Rating

Grapes: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 4% Syrah
Vineyard: 69% Col Solare Estate Vineyard 21% Shaw/Quintessence Vineyard, 10% Klipsun Vineyard
Cooperage: 22 months in new French oak,
ABV: 15%
Drink: 2018-2032

About the winery

Col Solare is the partnership between two influential wine producers who are recognized leaders in their respective regions: Tuscany's Marchesi Antinori and Washington State's Chateau Ste. Michelle.

From its inaugural 1995 vintage, Col Solare's mission has been to unite these two unique viticultural and winemaking cultures to produce a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon-based red wine from the very best Washington fruit.

With opening of a new winery and planting of the estate vineyard on Red Mountain in 2007, that vision has evolved to focus on showcasing the Cabernet Sauvignon of this unique AVA and, ultimately, the specific fruit of the Col Solare estate vineyard. While this vineyard is young, Col Solare's partners and winemaking team have high hopes that it will produce wines to be enjoyed for years to come.

About the vineyards

Red Mountain is perhaps Washington State's most renowned AVA, responsible for producing the grapes in some of the state's most celebrated wines.

Located on a latitude between Bordeaux and Burgundy, Red Mountain's poor gravelly soils and dry climate combine with the area's unique microclimate of warmer temperatures and more sunlight than elsewhere in Washington, along with cool air flowing down the Yakima River valley, to create perfect growing conditions for Bordeaux grapes.

As the Col Solare estate vineyard matures, more and more fruit is being used from it. This vintage consists of 69% Col Solare Estate Vineyard, 21% Shaw/Quintessence Vineyard and 10% Klipsun Vineyard - all located in the Red Mountain AVA.

Col Solare's estate vineyard on Red Mountain was designed and planted according to the same specifications that the Antinori family uses in its own estate vineyards in Tuscany and Umbria. The orientation, spacing and density were matched with the site to ensure uniform ripening and fruit quality

About the winemaker

After 20 years in the Air Force Darel Allwine returned to his native Washington and embarked on a career in winemaking. 

During this time, Allwine also met and began working with Marcus Notaro and they both began working with Col Solare during the production of the 2003 vintage. In 2006, the pair assumed full responsibility for winemaking at Col Solare and oversaw planting of the estate vineyard and construction of the estate winery on Red Mountain, which opened that year. In 2013, Allwine was appointed winemaker for Col Solare by the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates-Marchesi Antinori partnership.

At Col Solare, Allwine collaborates closely with Renzo Cotarella, chief enologist for the Antinori estates in Italy, to bring their collective expertise to bear . As the Col Solare estate vineyard has matured, the vision of the partners has evolved to focus on the Cabernet Sauvignon of the renowned Red Mountain appellation and, ultimately, the specific fruit of their unique vineyard site. With the 2009 vintage, fruit from the estate vineyard plays an important role in the Col Solare blend for the first time and, beginning with the 2011 vintage, all future vintages of Col Solare will carry the Red Mountain designation.

94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck

Up there with the best vintages of this cuvee to date, Col Solare's 2012 Proprietary Red (a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend that spent 22 months in 100% new French oak) has textbook Red Mountain structure and depth, as well as lots of crème de cassis, black raspberries, chocolate, melted licorice and spice. Big, voluptuous, layered and ripe, with a dense, chewy texture and a big finish, it’s certainly fun to drink now, but will be better with short-term cellaring and have two decades of overall longevity."

international-wine-report.png94 Points - International Wine Report
The 2012 is a monster of a wine that will take some time to develop in the bottle. Composed of 85% Cabernet, 7% Cab Franc, 4% Merlot and 4% Syrah, this wine has rich aromas of cassis, anise and some oak. It possesses a velvety mouthfeel with flavors of mocha, creme de cassis and black cherry. Persistent, savory and rich wine that's drinking beautifully now but will also age gracefully. One of the best Bordeaux style wines from a great vintage." 

93 Points - Wine Enthusiast

Aromas of blackberry, blue fruit, flowers and barrel spice are followed by pitch-black-fruit flavors. Lightly chewy tannins provide some heft but have room to broaden."

92 Points - Stephen Tanzer

"Bright medium ruby. Deep aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, spices and licorice, plus a subtle suggestion of game. Plush, generous and sweet, offering lovely depth to the dark berry and spice flavors. Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate on the very long, fresh back end, which features fine-grained tannins and lovely floral lift. Very classy juice, already sexy but with the concentration and structure to age."

"...a wonderful blend with aromas of black fruits and cherries with really smooth tannins. The finish is luscious and lasting. Highly recommended" 4.5/5 Stars

" This full bodied purple juice reminds me of a strong, but delicate, Super Tuscan, yet there's no Sangiovese! This Cab based blend speaks of bright cherry, plum, blackberry, huge tobacco (love the 22 months in 100% new French oak), and a handful of spices. Long lingering smoked cherry finish. Yes! 4.5/5 Stars

"Black cherry, berries, cassis, and a little tobacco. Nice tannins and a long finish. Very, very good." 4.5/5 Stars



Other Details

LAST FEW BOTTLES! 94 points & 4.4 Stars! The shared vision of two legendary wine producers
LAST FEW BOTTLES! 94pt, 4.4 Star Bordeaux blend from two of the world's great wineries
"Up there with the best vintages of this cuvee to date...textbook Red Mountain structure and depth...Big, voluptuous, layered and ripe, with a dense, chewy texture and a big finish" Robert Parker Wine Advocate
"...rich aromas of cassis, anise and some oak. It possesses a velvety mouthfeel with flavors of mocha, creme de cassis and black cherry. Persistent, savory and rich wine that's drinking beautifully now but will also age gracefully. One of the best Bo
When two of the world's great wine producers join forces to create a shared vision – to craft Washington's best Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine using fruit from the region’s top vineyards - then you know the results are going to be superb! This coming
2018-06-17 23:59:59
#review=Robert Parker Wine Advocate:
#review=International Wine Report:
#review=Wine Enthusiast:
#review=Jancis Robinson:
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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