Mission Codename Arns we glad you're an Operative!
Just a few weeks ago we scored a tiny batch of the 2011. It sold out. FAST. So, we begged for more and today we’re back with an equally generous deal on their fabulous 2012 Cabernet.
First the bad news. It’s a MUCH smaller allocation sadly, so it will go faster…. But onto the good stuff - 94 POINTS, over half off, from that generous and much praised 2012 vintage! It’s utterly dialed in with 10 years age and drinking like a CHAMP. Compared to the 2011, it’s a little riper, slightly rounder, but still dialed in with elegance, power, and complexity all in perfect harmony.
Most likely you had not heard of ARNS until recently. It’s an insider-only, local treasure we are so proud to share with you.
But you’ve heard of Heitz Cellar and Chateau Montelena. Back in the 1970s, Sandi Belcher of Arns had a lot to do with the iconic wines made at these prestigious estates. With a UC Davis graduate degree in chemistry and agriculture, she found her calling on Pritchard Hill - joining Long Vineyards (now Gandona Estate), where she worked alongside another winemaking legend Zelma Long for three “long” decades.
Meanwhile, she and her vineyard manager husband John Arns quietly developed their own estate in the hills above St. Helena, just below Howell Mountain planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon. Before she launched her own label, regulars clamoring over the impeccable fruit grown on the 160 hillside acres included Dunn, Martin Ray, Burgess, and Merryvale.
In 1992, the same year as the first Screaming Eagle, she bottled and labeled the first Arns. They started with a few hundred cases, and rarely exceeded a thousand over the years, as they built a loyal following. The wines are snatched up by top restaurants around the world and their mailing list.
Fans of Arns don’t want more fans of Arns because there never is enough to go around! That’s why they love the totally under the radar (GLOWING) Reviews & Comments page on their website.
Imagine how much convincing it took to get this library gem out of their hands!
Hear this awesome true story: “Napa Valley Vintners Association is a trade organization that supports the efforts of 525 bonded wineries in the Napa Valley. They participated in gathering samples of all their Vintners for the grand event of National Cabernet Day, August 31, 2019. This event originally started to celebrate the upcoming grape harvest. It is the beginning of Fall, and it highlights the labor-intensive season to follow. A tasting of participating vintners was judged in February 2019. Arns Winery Cabernet 2012 (THIS WINE!) was selected in the top 15 wineries at the finish line. Other wineries were a diverse group of winemakers, large and small.”
There’s LESS to go around - these rarely make it to the mainstream wine press. Excuse the source’s obscurity, but this super independent review we spotted online is once again SPOT ON with our assessment.
94 Points – Jeff Lawson (drinkthebottles.com)
“2012 was a mixed year for many wine producers. Some soared and some struggled. Those who did soar rose way above the competition and this 2012 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns is a fine example of wine made gorgeously and with style. There is a big contrast in color from the 2011. This is very dark and inky, leaving behind a beautiful stamp on the cork. I decanted this wine for about an hour but couldn’t help myself to get lost in the aroma’s dark fruits, black licorice and damp, loam earthiness. Solid mouthfeel and the aromas carry over to the same flavors but add in some cocoa powder and hints of sweet berries on the finish for a mouth covering and memorable drinking experience. Arns wines are those that you want to take with you to a dinner party. These are also great wines to share with folks who are not traditionally “wine people” but beware that those folks may think that all wines are this delicious!”
What the Winery Says
2012 Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sandi Belcher
- Vineyard Manager
- John Arns
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- St. Helena, Napa Valley (almost Howell Mountain!)
- Arns Vineyard
- 24 months
- 80% new French oak
- 10 barrels