Review: 2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford

FREEMARK_ABBEYFreemark Abbey’s always-engaging Cabernets are here, representing the 2012 vintage. Some real standouts… without further ado.

2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 75.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16.6% Merlot, 3.3% Cabernet Franc, 2.6% Petit Verdot, and 2.0% Malbec. Dense and quite sweet, this is New World cabernet at its most iconic, all crushed red fruits, vanilla, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. It’s all layered into a rich and sumptuous body, almost like marshmallow creme at times. I have a feeling all the sweetness is going to leave me with a headache tomorrow, but for now it’s so easy to drink and enjoy that I can’t complain much. A- / $44

2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley – 83.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.3% Merlot, 4.6% Petit Verdot, and 3.9% Cabernet Franc. A more regional designate of the above (oddly, in a slightly larger bottle). Again, classic Napa Cabernet, but elevated to near perfection — supple cherry and berry fruit, very gentle tannin, the slightest layering of baking spices. This is so easy drinking it’s almost criminal, with hints of violets (hello, Merlot), black pepper, and blackberry bramble raising the game that much more. A / $75

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3 Responses

  1. Steven Mayer November 29, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    I’ve been hearing good things, that Freemark Abbey is back at the top of its game, while staying true to its more traditional Napa style, i.e., not the highly manipulated fruit bombs like Lewis and the 2012 Caymus 40th Anniversay cabs.
    But these descriptions of “sweet” and “so easy drinking it’s almost criminal” give me pause.

  2. Christopher Null November 29, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Steven – The Rutherford bottling is the one you’re looking for. The NV bottling is pretty far along the “fruit bomb” spectrum.

  3. Anonymous November 30, 2015 / 12:27 am

    Thanks, Christopher. I appreciate your reply.

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