2012 Andrew Will Cabernet Sauvignon (Black Label)

Hello friends. If there has been a tastier silver lining to the dark cloud of the past half-decade’s slow economy than the Andrew Will Black Label bottles, I haven’t tried it. Today we have the latest vintage of Cabernet under the Black Label, which was inaugurated with the 2008 vintage. We’ve been on these wines from the beginning, and with good reason: this is all Andrew Will-vinified juice that just didn’t fit stylistically into the high-end single-vineyard bottlings, and it comes at an egalitarian tariff that broadens access to the fine winemaking of Chris Camarda.

For the 2012 vintage, it gets even better. While there is no indication on the bottle, this Cabernet is single-vineyard, coming entirely from Andrew Will’s estate Two Blondes vineyard in the Yakima Valley (location here, map of vineyard blocks here).

All Cabernet, all Two Blondes, and all done in high-grade French (Taransaud) oak (35% new), generally unheard of for this tariff, but we already know: this is a wine punching well above its price class. It offers a beautiful Cabernet nose of pure cassis fruit complicated by graphitic minerality, espresso, and lovely minty topnotes. The texture is gorgeous: seamless across attack, mid, and finish, silky when it should be, and then powerfully structured when it should be. From a cool site in a warm/down-the-middle vintage, this clocks in at 13.5% listed alc and drinks perfectly balanced. The length, the sheer tannic heft, the prominence of soil/mineral tones: all deeply impressive for this price point.

This is just the latest in a string of impressive value Cabernets from the 2012 vintage in Washington. Again, I know using “value” for a $30 wine is a stretch, but by Andrew Will standards, it applies. And like Gramercy’s Lower East Cab from a few weeks ago, this is another chance to build a cellar with sub-$30 bottles. The aging curve for this one should be long, fascinating, and beautiful.

I should also note that this has been apparently selling really fast for the winery. They were kind enough to nudge us to offer this before it sold out, but this is likely a one-shot-only offer, with reorder requests unlikely to be fulfilled.

First come first served up to 72 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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