Christie Kiley on September 28, 2015 0 Comments There are iconic wineries in every wine region of the world. These are established wineries which have made their mark, created a tradition and expanded on the culture of winemaking in their own way. Each year, followers and fans of these wineries wait in anticipation for the release of their vintages. As the new season approaches, so does a wonderful new vintage. 2012 was a great year for Napa wines, and 2015 promises the same quality. It is approaching the time when wineries release their wines which sommeliers and casual drinkers alike have been patiently waiting for. Later on, there will be a list of 2015 fall releases for any wine lover and collector to watch for this year, but for now, we talk about the 2012 St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon. St. Supéry, the Winery The St. Supéry story begins almost one hundred years ago with the winery’s founder, Robert-Elie Skalli, back in Algeria. Robert-Elie’s son, Francis, took over the family estate in the 1960’s, some thirty years after the initial founding of the estate. Francis began a wine exporting company on Corsica at this time, known as the Skalli Family Estate of Terra Vecchia. From there, the wine industry was passed down to another generation when the son of Francis, Robert Skalli, traveled all of the way to the Napa Valley. Robert, his uncle and a couple of his cousins built a new winery in France. With a new project in France and an inspiring visit to Napa, a dream had been sparked within Robert. It wasn’t until 1982 when Robert purchased the Dollarhide Ranch in the northeastern mountains of Napa Valley. Dollarhide Ranch was originally a cattle ranch in the mountains, but Robert saw its potential as a successful vineyard. He soon transformed it into 500 acres of estate vines. Today, the winery is headed in Rutherford on another 56 acres. This is where the winemaking magic takes place. Today, St. Supéry is the largest sustainably farmed winery and vineyard estate in the Napa Valley. Both the winery and their land have been certified as “Napa Green”. Napa Green Napa Green Certified Land is a voluntary program that any Napa vintners can participate in. It is a program which recognizes those who not only protect their vineyards and their future through sustainable agriculture practices, but also to those who restore and/or enhance the watershed. This program is about recognizing those who practice sound wine business ethics in the protection of wild land, stream banks, roadways, drains and more. The program is vital to the sustainability of Napa’s winemaking heritage, but also is in partnership with Fish Friendly Farming, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the county’s Department of Pesticide Regulation and many others. 2012 St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon During the harvest season at St. Supéry, the days start out early in the morning when the grapes are hand-picked in the cool hours of the day. Brought in by half-ton bins, the clusters are then sorted a second time by hand and then each individual berry is selected with a special sorting machine. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, where the chemical process is temperature controlled until the ideal color and extraction of the aromas and flavors have been achieved. Following fermentation, the wine spends about eighteen months in a mix of new and old French oak. The outcome of the 2012 vintage is one that many critics had anticipated following the successful growing season and harvest of 2012. The 2012 St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon was definitely a shining star from the Napa Valley that year. It is a rich and full-bodied wine. Iconic, collector-worthy Napa Cabernet does not get much better with aromas and flavors of ripe and juicy late summer berries, savory notes of a latte with cocoa powder and cinnamon, peppercorn and licorice. It will all play out on your palate for a very long, lingering, enjoyable sipping experience. Pair this with many of your favorite fall comfort foods for the season–or keep it for years to come, as this vintage is good until 2022.