Havens Wine Cellars 'Black and Blue' Napa Valley Red Blend 2012
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Havens 2012 Napa Valley 'Black and Blue'
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
VARIETAL: Red Blend
GRAPE: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Napa Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.10%
When Michael Havens created this blend concept years ago it was an ode to the blending of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, the combination of which created a black and blue hue. The Syrah which represents the majority of this blend is from the Mt. Veeder Appellation. The adjacent vineyard produces wine for the storied Darioush Winery. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from Oakville. The two varietals were aged separately for 18 months in French oak and then blended together 6 weeks before bottling. Generous and mouthwatering fruit including black cherries, black raspberries, plum and kirsch with toasty oak, licorice and a spice box. It holds its alcohol very well and is quite approachable. It will pair well with blackened steaks, short ribs, lamb kebobs, pulled pork sandwiches, London broil and veal parmesan.
By Havens Wine Cellars
2012 'Black & Blue' Napa Valley
Harvest Date: Sept. 25 - Oct. 20, 2012
TA: 6.4 g/l
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Barrel Aging: 18 months in French Oak (65% 2 years & older)
Blend: 85% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
The Vineyard and Winemaking
Our Havens 2012 Black & Blue is a seductive red wine blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. We draw our Syrah from vineyards on Mt. Veeder. These vineyards climb eastern facing slopes, three miles up Dry Creek Road, adjacent to the vineyard producing grapes for Darioush. We combined the Syrah with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, selected from in and around the Oakville AVA, on the valley floor, to create a truly special blend. The yields of the rocky volcanic soil on Mt. Veeder, with its com- position of basalt and compact ash, are a perfect companion to fruit grown in sandstone and shale-rich soils of the valley floor. Beautiful clusters of the Syrah and Cabernet were destemmed and crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Both grapes were fermented separately and pumped over with aeration three times per day. The varieties finished the Malo-Lactic fermenta- tion in tank before being drained and pressed. Both varieties were barrel aged in French oak barrels, and only blended 6 weeks before bottling in December 2014.
2012 was a textbook growing season with ideal weather that put little pressure on the vines, and provided grapes with well-balanced chemistries. The 2012 harvest is making up for the low yielding 2011 crush; most vines set a large crop and over the next few months vineyard crews thinned clusters in many blocks. During the summer, we had an abundance of California coastal "sweater" weather, with light clouds and fog in the morning and warm sunshine in the afternoon, often sending temperatures into the mid 90s then quickly cooling off after sunset. The 2012 harvest is shaping up to be one that will become known for its abundance of fruit and quality of wines.
The 2012 Havens Black & Blue Red is brimming with a bright nose of crushed black pepper, violets, blackberries, and a hint of roasted meats. Its deep inky purple-hue catches the eye & the aromas practically leap from the glass. Deep flavors of spicy baked plum, cherry & dark chocolate coat the palate and the smooth tannins add balance & structure. This is a wine for the cellar but can be enjoyed young with heartier fare, especially as the temperature outside drops.
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.