Wine & Spirits 100 points - The spectacular 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 appears to be the finest Cask 23 since the glory years of the mid-eighties. It boasts a dense purple color, complex notes of spice box, Christmas fruitcake, blackcurrant jam, mulberries and spring flowers, as well as a full-bodied, opulent personality. It is a profound example of this iconic wine that went through a period of mediocrity in the mid- to late-1990s prior to being sold. Drink now-2038.
CASK 23, made only in exceptional vintages, is usually a blend of the most distinctive fruit from our S.L.V. and FAY estate vineyards. The story of CASK 23 began during the harvest of 1974. Back then, winery founder Warren Winiarski enlisted the help of celebrated winemaker
André Tchelistcheff. As they tasted through various lots of new wines from that year, they noticed a distinct character in a lot from the center of Block 4, a character they described as "crushed violets”. It was so appealing that they decided to age this wine separately in a wooden cask, number 23. The wine was still so deliciously distinct after further aging in barrel, Warren decided to bottle it separately and give it a special name—CASK 23.
|Much of S.L.V. has been replanted, but the vines in Block 4 from the original planting in 1972 still stand, and they continue to produce fruit of exquisite character. Over the years, we’ve identified other blocks and sub-blocks of our estate vineyards that consistently yield fruit of
exceptional quality, but the choice of which grapes go into CASK 23 is far from automatic. We pick and vinify in small lots, then carefully monitor each lot’s development to determine which ones live up to their full potential.
The fruit from S.L.V., with its volcanic soils, contribute complex structure, concentration, and spicy intensity, while the alluvial soils of FAY yield fruit with lush perfume and rich berry flavors. When blended together, the intense "fire”-like qualities of S.L.V. and the supple, "water”-like
characteristics of FAY create a wine of classic elegance, structure, and age-ability.