Cakebread Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Napa Valley 2018 750ML
Cakebread Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 2018 750ML
Notes from the Winemaker
Generous aromas of boysenberry, black cherry and fig accented with earthy notes. Robust, concentrated flavors on the palate, the wine offers blackberry and boysenberry notes layered with hints of minerality. Structured and opulent tannins fill the palate with a deep, powerful black fruit finish. Dancing Bear, despite its intensity, displays a charming elegance. Delicious upon release but will more than reward another decade of aging. Enjoy with rosemary braised lamb shanks, filet mignon, or grilled portabello mushrooms.
Vineyards and Vintage
Our Dancing Bear Ranch is perched high above northern Napa Valley on the steep, rugged slopes of Howell Mountain. Planted in dry, rocky, iron rich volcanic soils elevated between 1,100 and 1,900 feet, the vines are subject to nearly 360 degrees of exposure to the elements. As a result, vines in this location are routinely stressed and yield small crops of intensely flavorful grapes. The vines are separated into 24 separate blocs based on sun exposure, soil profile, clonal selection and varietal type. The warm sunshine during the day and cool nights allow the fruit to develop intense color and flavor while retaining acidic structure and aromatic depth. The 2018 growing season kicked off with plentiful winter rainfall to replenish the soils. Steady vine growth and berry development progressed evenly through the summer months. The vintage was cooler than usual; grapes reached peak maturity with balanced fruit flavors and firm tannins.
We carefully monitor tannin levels in the juice and wine during maceration and fermentation. After the component lots of Dancing Bear achieve an optimal balance of fruit intensity and tannin, the free-run wines drain from their skins and ages them in French oak barrels. Signature barrels are selected with specific toasting and tannin levels to complement the wine’s richness and power. This wine spent a total of 22 months aging in French oak barrels, 60% new, prior to bottling in 2020.
Reviews and Accolades
97 Points/Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch is composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the gate with bold crème de cassis, blackberry pie and plum preserves scents, followed by touches of star anise, bouquet garni and tar with a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied and packed with juicy black fruits, the palate is beautifully framed by plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of fragrant earth and exotic spice accents. Rating: 97+
90 Points/James Suckling
A concentrated cabernet with aromas of baked blackberries, dark cherries, chocolate, coffee, toast and sweet spices. Full body with firm, creamy tannins. Rich and chewy. A blend of 98% cabernet sauvignon and 2% cabernet franc. Drink or hold.