Esteemed California wine blogger Alder Yarrow attended the 2012 Premiere Napa Valley auction where 2010 Napa Valley wines were previewed and the Napa Valley Vintners Association raised a total of $3.1 million, up 31% from 2011. 200 barrel samples were available and Mr. Yarrow plowed through them all. Some hard to find, and others more readily available but often pricey.

2012 Premiere Napa Valley Auction, Vintage Perspective Tasting; Photo: Jason Tinacci © Napa Valley Vintners

2012 Premiere Napa Valley Auction, Vintage Perspective Tasting. Photo: Jason Tinacci © Napa Valley Vintners

He offers his initial takes on the wines and a general assessment of the vintage. Having attended this event for years he provides insightful perspective on the vintage. He finds that those vintners that managed to maintain good acidity made “beautiful” wines with smooth supple tannins, but that many were not able to reach that level as the vintage presented many obstacles.

“While the somewhat challenging vintage offered a wild ride — a desperately cold and wet spring followed by a cool summer, punctuated by August heat spikes and then capped off by rain during the harvest — the fruit that didn’t succumb to shatter, botrytis, mildew, rot, or sunburn seemed to fare very well. The best wines have a wonderful bright acidity, juicy floral fruit, and vibrant deep colors. Managing tannins seemed to be somewhat of a challenge for some, with some wines suffering from thick, rigid tannins that dried the mouth and were clearly out of balance.”

For the full story visit Alder Yarrow’s article
Napa’s Best Cabernet: Tasting at Premiere Napa Valley 2012
on his blog.

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