From the moment the 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach Cabernet is poured, seductive scents of blackberry, cassis and currant mixed with a touch of cedar and smooth vanilla oak greet the nose. Once in the mouth, this youthful Cabernet first comes across as an easy to drink, medium-bodied wine that offers up pretty varietal flavors in a silky smooth, supremely balanced format, all of which is true. But not so fast… with a bit of aeration, the 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach begins to take on weight and depth of flavor. Its smooth tannins come forward to frame the wine and its seductive fruit. Consequently, as a first rate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, we suggest drinking the 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach at cool room temperature (60º-64º F) after a half hour or more of aeration. Although charming and downright delicious now, Nick Goldschmidt’s limited release 2012 Ruth’s Reach Cabernet Sauvignon will continue to improve in bottle for several more years. Enjoy!
Given the smooth, charming nature of the 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach Cabernet Sauvignon, it can easily serve as its own accompaniment because its supple tannins lend vitality without harshness. Nonetheless, a few choice morsels will only double the pleasure. Lamb, beef, and duck complement this seductive Cabernet with aplomb. Rack of Lamb or Braised Lamb Shanks, served with lentils; Rotisserie or Spit Roasted Chicken, brushed with butter, olive oil, and Provençal herbs; and Filet Mignon with Portabella mushrooms are just a few of our favorite dishes to accompany Nick Goldschmidt’s juicy, almost huggable Cabernet Sauvignon. And for those subscribing to the philosophy that less is more when it comes to accompaniments, why not consider serving a plate of soft, ripe cheeses with the 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach? Camembert, Fontina, and Saint Aubray are just a few of the many fine cheeses that complement this gracious Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy!
A yardstick is of course an instrument of measurement, and Nick Goldschmidt’s 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is indeed a wine by which many other Napa Valley Cabernets will be measured. Yardstick is made by Goldschmidt Vineyards, which produces an elite group of limited release Cabernet Sauvignons from single sites.
New Zealand born and educated, Nick Goldschmidt has traveled the globe, much like Cabernet Sauvignon, the varietal he specializes in producing. A graduate of Roseworthy, Australia’s premier school of enology, Nick has made wine in many countries on several continents. Before launching Goldschmidt Vineyards with his wife Yolyn, Nick worked extensively in Australia and New Zealand before settling in Healdsburg, California in 1990 as Simi's Associate Winemaker. In 1991, Nick was promoted to Chief Winemaker and Vice President of Simi where he spent 13 years as the driving force behind Simi’s renowned Reserve Cabernet program. He presently serves as Vice President and Executive Domestic Winemaker for Beam Estates’ wine portfolio.
Goldschmidt Vineyards focuses on single vineyard offerings from great vineyard sites. Currently Nick and Yolyn produce two very limited, outstanding offerings of Cabernet Sauvignon, one from Alexander Valley and the other from Napa Valley from Ruth’s Reach Vineyard in Oakville (this month’s feature). Both wines are single vineyard, 100% varietal, handcrafted artisan wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely cultivated of the world’s noble red grape varieties. For centuries it was thought to be an ancient varietal, but DNA studies conducted in the 1990s revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon is not nearly as old as we once thought. What is even more startling is that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the offspring of Cabernet Franc (a red variety) and Sauvignon Blanc (a white variety), contrary to what most everyone thought
The origin of Cabernet Sauvignon has traditionally been attributed to Bordeaux, where it holds court with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The combination of any three or more of these varieties is what is known in Europe as the Bordeaux Blend or in California and elsewhere as a Meritage. Some evidence suggests that northern Spain, just south of the Pyrenees, may also lay legitimate claim to being an original site of the planet’s most important red grape variety. However, Bordeaux rightly claims to be the disseminator of this noble red grape variety because it is from Bordeaux that Cabernet Sauvignon has circled the globe.
In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is the heart and soul of the finest Médoc wines and a leading player in nearly all of the finest red wines of Graves. Bordeaux’s First Growths (Châteaux Haut-Brion, Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Mouton) are all Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. However, even in Bordeaux appellations where Cabernet is king, Cabernet Sauvignon is usually blended with Merlot and/or other traditional Bordeaux varietals. By nature, Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned grape that requires a longer maturation than most other red grape varieties, which makes blending it a natural choice in winemaking regions such as Bordeaux where climate conditions are variable.
Cabernet Sauvignon thrives under warm, even hot, semi arid conditions, which is one reason why this noble variety has been extensively and successfully cultivated in Australia, California, Chile, South Africa, and elsewhere. Today, Cabernet Sauvignon is unquestionably California’s most prestigious red varietal, both in consummate quality as well as price. California’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons are legendary and wildly lauded as the finest New World examples. Select areas of Argentina, Australia, Chile, and South Africa also fashion world class Cabernet Sauvignon.
The flavor profile of Cabernet Sauvignon can vary considerably, depending upon climate, terroir, and the skill of the winemaker. Yet, certain flavors nearly always come to fore in ripe Cabernet Sauvignon: blackberry and blackcurrant (often referred to as cassis) flavors are most often associated with this premium variety. Earthy and herbaceous aromas such as cedar, eucalyptus, graphite, and tobacco are also common. Moreover, of all the world’s red grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon has the greatest propensity for successful ageing due to its rich tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon also contains high levels of antioxidants and resveratrol, which render its wines some of the most healthful, so enjoy!
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