Tamarack Cellars Cab Sauv 2012
This wine exhibits, as do many varietal expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon, the harmony of flavors that this grape can achieve in the finished wine and in blending it with many other grapes. Tamarack Cellars has chosen a traditional blend of grapes (86% is Cab Sauv, 8% is Cabernet Franc, and 6% is Merlot). Bordeaux has it right when it blends Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and other grapes with Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, the addition of Syrah was a blend that was first used in the early days of Bordeaux.
Cabernet has backbone and muscle but lacks gentleness until age has mellowed its punch. There is a richness in the mid palate of Merlot that seems to make Cab rounder and smoother, and it does the job in this Tamarack blend. There is also a similarity with Cabernet Franc that can, in leaner years, add to Cab’s herbaceousness, but when harvested fully ripe, can blend and enrich Cabernet’s offering of blackcurrant as it seems to do in this example.
The winemakers have gone to great measures to preserve the individuality of each vineyard and variety to blend without first muddying the pool. The result is a harmonious blend of flavors and texture that is to be celebrated in this wine.
The wine needs more age to show at its best. Somewhat closed, a bit of breathing can help. On the nose is the richness of vanilla, a hint of smoke at first, and fruit flavors that have married into a harmonious and glorious whole. It is very complex and appealingly smooth, with fine but strong tannins that should marry more as it ages. There is a little minerality and the acid is in beautiful balance to the point of it not being noticeable except for its mouth watering effect. To me, this is acid balance in perfection.
Because of its harmony, this is a wine that does not stand up tall and say, “This is who I am,” but rather delivers a dose of complex pleasure and velvety softness that creeps up on you and creates emotions that are all to do with its soothing melody and its contrasting rich, complex power.
Emotional rating: Loads of soft-hued dark fruit and oak lusciousness. The same emotions as when you fall into a feather pillow, but one well stuffed and firm as well as soft.
Available: from the winery. Also try wine.com and/or wine searcher.com.