A. Rafanelli

Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

9.2418 ratings
9.247 pro ratings
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon
Onion, Shallot, Garlic, Pasta, Venison, Tomato-Based, Potato, Pork, Chocolate & Caramel, White Rice, Mushrooms, Beef, Lamb, Chili & Hot Spicy
Top Notes For
Eric Grasser

Truly Sonoma Cab and amongst the very best. Well integrated and balanced with plenty of firm tannin for the future.

Truly Sonoma Cab and amongst the very best. Well integrated and balanced with plenty of firm tannin for the future.

Nov 15th, 2017
Jay Kline

Popped and poured; consumed over four hours. This was a beautiful wine from the start. Loads of currants and sweet tobacco with some baking spices and graphite in the mix. On the palate there were layers of dark fruits with just the slightest a touch of leather and kalamata olive peeking through. However, this gives an overall impression of being fresh and full of vigor. Tannins are firm yet silky in their delivery. I thought there was adequate acid to give it some lift too. The finish lasts for well over a minute and there is a savory element that is simply beguiling. This is a lovely wine that's drinking so well right now but has the balance and pedigree to suggest it will gracefully see the latter part of the next decade. This bottle was already throwing a good amount of very fine sediment but it's nothing that interferes with the experience.

Popped and poured; consumed over four hours. This was a beautiful wine from the start. Loads of currants and sweet tobacco with some baking spices and graphite in the mix. On the palate there were layers of dark fruits with just the slightest a touch of leather and kalamata olive peeking through. However, this gives an overall impression of being fresh and full of vigor. Tannins are firm yet silky in their delivery. I thought there was adequate acid to give it some lift too. The finish lasts for well over a minute and there is a savory element that is simply beguiling. This is a lovely wine that's drinking so well right now but has the balance and pedigree to suggest it will gracefully see the latter part of the next decade. This bottle was already throwing a good amount of very fine sediment but it's nothing that interferes with the experience.

1 person found it helpfulApr 1st, 2018
Gabe Sasso

A.Rafanelli has been hitting it out of the park for decades. Their 2012 Cabernet is no exception. It's a bit reticent at first, but just a few minutes of air make all the difference. Wild strawberry, red cherry and wisps of vanilla are present on the nose. The palate is marked by impeccable balance and purity of fruit along with a significant spice component. The long, even finish show off continued red fruits and spice along with black tea and bits of earth that will increase with bottle age. There are a handful of producers in Dry Creek Valley that routinely nail Cabernet Sauvignon cold. Rafanelli is among their number.

A.Rafanelli has been hitting it out of the park for decades. Their 2012 Cabernet is no exception. It's a bit reticent at first, but just a few minutes of air make all the difference. Wild strawberry, red cherry and wisps of vanilla are present on the nose. The palate is marked by impeccable balance and purity of fruit along with a significant spice component. The long, even finish show off continued red fruits and spice along with black tea and bits of earth that will increase with bottle age. There are a handful of producers in Dry Creek Valley that routinely nail Cabernet Sauvignon cold. Rafanelli is among their number.

1 person found it helpfulDec 15th, 2015
Christanna Honer

Gotta love cab that tastes like cab. Pure varietal and pure Dry Creek character. Beautiful red fruit, loaded with red bell pepper, gravel and gnarly ass bramble. Incredibly balanced on all ends. Baby makin' good. 2011 Cali cabs FTW.

Gotta love cab that tastes like cab. Pure varietal and pure Dry Creek character. Beautiful red fruit, loaded with red bell pepper, gravel and gnarly ass bramble. Incredibly balanced on all ends. Baby makin' good. 2011 Cali cabs FTW.

1 person found it helpfulMay 3rd, 2015
Renato Hoyle

Wow. The balance!

Wow. The balance!

1 person found it helpfulApr 20th, 2015
Brian Donegan

Without a doubt the best CA 1997 Cabernet I've had in the past 10 years! Lots of life left with spicy tobacco, earthy currants and truffles.

Without a doubt the best CA 1997 Cabernet I've had in the past 10 years! Lots of life left with spicy tobacco, earthy currants and truffles.

1 person found it helpfulJan 12th, 2015
Martin Barna

Easily overcoming the 2008 climate issues. Great wine.

Easily overcoming the 2008 climate issues. Great wine.

1 person found it helpfulApr 20th, 2014
Jay Kline

Always, always a winner.

Always, always a winner.

Jul 5th, 2017
Marc Stubblefield

Wine Sales at Vino Carta and Kogod Wine Merchant

9.1

If I'm going to drink Cali Cab, this is probably it. Pleasingly rich, oak that adds rather than opaques, and no shying away from the spicy pyrazines that ought to be there.

If I'm going to drink Cali Cab, this is probably it. Pleasingly rich, oak that adds rather than opaques, and no shying away from the spicy pyrazines that ought to be there.

May 20th, 2017
Yoon Ha

Master Sommelier/Wine Director Benu

9.4

May not be text book but super fun to drink in a way that many wines aren't these days.

May not be text book but super fun to drink in a way that many wines aren't these days.

Apr 8th, 2017