Winemaker's Notes: “One of the quintessential American novels is Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. It challenges the reader to listen to the individual characters as they tell the stories of their lives in the Oregonian timber country. In Kesey’s masterpiece, different characters tell the story on the same page without the reader having the benefit of knowing who is speaking. The reader has to listen carefully during the first 50 or so pages to understand where each character fits and how the individual voice is identified.
Cardinale is a collection of individual voices that tell a story, in this case the characters are the appellations and the story is the vintage. The individuality of the vineyards is there to enrich the experience. In 2012, the number of characters increased as the vintage was such that the quality of the expression of each appellation soared to the level of Cardinale’s expectation. Blackberries, shale, hints of earth, currant, Asian spice and mountain minerality reside alongside a breadth of structural tannins and weight from the concentration of fruit. Like Kesey’s novel, the 2012 transports you by way of the characters/appellations to a time and a place that we will celebrate for years to come.”
Acclaim: 98 POINTS - The 2012's final blend was 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot with 94% new French oak used. Terroirists undoubtedly lament the fact that nine different vineyards and seven different appellations were utilized, but the resulting wine is prodigious. A dense purple color is accompanied by notes of graphite, blackberries, blackcurrants, roasted coffee, vanillin, baking spices and forest floor. With enormous complexity and richness as well as full-bodied power and voluptuousness, it is a wine of exceptional purity, intensity, and well-integrated acidity, alcohol, tannin and wood. This seamless, majestic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated 2012 should drink well for two decades.- Robert Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, October 2014