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2018 BARNETT VINEYARDS RATTLESNAKE SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Representing the highest level wine possible from Barnett Vineyards, Rattlesnake Hill comes from a small rocky knoll on the estate at 2050 elevation, blended with the crème de la crème barrels of their Estate fruit, meticulously scrutinized by winemaker David Tate throughout elevage. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 vintage rattles your senses with euphoric complexity, penetrating fruit, and indescribable length.

Rattlesnake Hill Cabernet made its debut in 1991, prompting a handwritten congratulatory letter from Robert Parker stating, “I’ve only been compelled to do this twice in my career before, but enclosed you will find a personal check for 2 cases for my cellar.” Their team’s unwavering use of traditional techniques and micro-managing production has solidified them as a paragon on Spring Mountain for more than 30 years, and this wine represents the pinnacle of their achievements.

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2018 BARNETT VINEYARDS SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Carved into a 35º slope at 2000 feet elevation on Spring Mountain, Barnett’s Vineyard is impeccably farmed on a vine-by-vine basis, ensuring each berry reaches the pinnacle of ripeness. Once harvested, Winemaker David Tate ferments each block individually, performing multiple punch-downs daily, maximizing flavor concentration. Their unwavering use of traditional techniques and micro-managing production has solidified them as a paragon on Spring Mountain for more than 30 years.

Crafted with the intent to showcase Spring Mountain’s most distinct characteristics, displayed with grace and persistence, Barnett’s team intricately combines fruit from their high-elevation Estate and neighboring York Creek Vineyards in creating their Spring Mountain District Cabernet.

Blending the 2018 Barnett, David utilized 8% Petit Verdot for increased depth, structure, and balancing the ripe and supple Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, which he aged for 22 months in barrel. At less than $100, this wine perfectly expresses the profound qualities that I look for in Spring Mountain Cabernet.

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2019 BARNETT SANGIACOMO VINEYARD CHARDONNAY

Barnett produces supremely balanced wines that are varietally appropriate and locationally transparent. They achieve this through selecting the right location and taking a hands-on, attentive approach to winemaking. Winemaker David Tate regularly samples juice from each barrel during fermentation, stopping malolactic fermentation on a barrel-by-barrel basis to preserve balance. Their 2019 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay is sensational and perfectly reflects the winery’s commitment to producing world-class wine.

The winery has produced Chardonnay from Sangiacomo for 28 vintages; thus, they can access some of the best blocks. Their 2019 combines El Novillero, Vella, and Catarina blocks. Each block is fermented separately in small batches before aging Sur Lie for ten months in French oak.

Winemaker David Tate has crafted Barnett since 2007, and he previously spent five years at Ridge, where he helped make their iconic Monte Bello Cabernet. His years at Ridge laid the groundwork for his commitment to quality and understanding what it takes to produce world-class wine with a sense of place.

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2016 BARNETT VINEYARDS “SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT” CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Spring Mountain Cabernet is unique to the other Mountainous growing regions in Napa Valley because it produces classically structured Mountain fruit, but with more perceived suppleness than the others.  I’m also drawn to the complexity and savory undertones that often show themselves in Spring Mountain wines.  I regularly find notes of eucalyptus, bay leaves, forest floor and a range of detailed spices.  They can also be profoundly floral.  One of the best examples of classically made Spring Mountain Cabernet is Barnett’s 2016.  It’s created with 100% Spring Mountain fruit from both Barnett’s high-elevation Estate Vineyard and neighboring York Creek.  At under $100 this wine perfectly expresses the profound qualities that I look for in Spring Mountain Cabernet.

Fruit for Barnett’s 2016 Spring Mountain District Cabernet was harvested on six separate days ranging from late September through late October.  Each lot was aged separately for 22 months in oak before winemaker David Tate combined them into perfection.  David has been winemaker at Barnett since 2007 and before that he spent 5 years at Ridge, helping to craft their iconic Monte Bello Cabernet.  If you love Mountain fruit, you’ll want to make some room in the cellar for this one.  It’s ready to enjoy now and will age gracefully for 10-12 years.

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2016 CROWLEY VINEYARD SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Crowley Vineyard Cabernet checks every box from top-level winemaking to a pedigreed vineyard and a passionate proprietor. Wineries like Barnett, Behrens Family, Sherwin, and Robert Craig have all sourced their grapes because of the fruit quality and biodynamic viticulture. Stephen Tebb makes their wine, and he spent the last ten years as Director of Winemaking for Robert Craig and specializes in Mountain Terroir.

The vineyard is at the top of Spring Mountain, where rocky, well-drained, red volcanic Aiken loam produces densely concentrated fruit. Stephen pulls from superior blocks and clones within the vineyard, and at the winery price of $95, it’s stunning.

Stephen crafts this wine using gentle and minimal handling, resulting in Crowley’s Spring Mountain Vineyard’s pure expression of the land. The 2016 release is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and spent 18 months developing in French oak barrels. The wine is rocking now and will also go the distance in the cellar.

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2015 CROWLEY VINEYARD SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Crowley Vineyard represents the epitome of a passionate grower whose quality of fruit and biodynamic viticulture is recognized by wineries like Barnett, Behrens Family, Sherwin, Robert Craig, but who also makes a small amount of wine of their own. The wines are made by Stephen Tebb, who spent the last ten years as Director of Winemaking for Robert Craig, and specializes in Mountain Terroir. Stephen created Crowley’s version from superior blocks and clones within the vineyard.

The vineyard is at the top of Spring Mountain, where rocky and well-drained, red volcanic Aiken loam produces densely concentrated fruit. At 2000 feet elevation, the days are around 10 degrees cooler than the valley floor and combined with the highest rainfall in Napa Valley and unique soils, create fruit with intense flavors, fine structure, and soft tannins.

Stephen crafts this wine using gentle and minimal handling, resulting in Crowley’s Spring Mountain Vineyard’s pure expression of the land. The 2015 release is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and spent 18 months in 70% developing new French oak barrels. The wine is rocking now and will also go the distance in the cellar.

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2015 DAVID ARTHUR MERITAGGIO, NAPA VALLEY

Emerging from the Eastern ridge of Pritchard Hill, where the iron-rich, volcanic, red soils produce intensely flavored berries that are are the reason so many wine lovers consider Pritchard Hill to be the most elite sub-region in the Napa Valley.  The area has been hailed by some as Napa’s Grand Cru, and David Arthur’s Cabernets rank among some of the greatest in the Valley.  The winery also produces a delicious, bistro-styled Red Blend that comes laden with sultry aromas of juicy dark cherries, candied plum, crushed violets and chocolaty undertones.  The 2015 checks in at 44% Sangiovese and is powered by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  At less than $60, David Arthur’s Meritaggio delivers serious bang for your buck.

Brought to life by talented winemaker Nile Zacherle, whose experience includes winemaking in Australia and Bordeaux, as well as Napa Valley wineries Barnett and Chateau Montelena.  David Arthur’s 2015 Meritaggio is simply outstanding.  The winery has a terrific track record which spans more than 3 decades, crafting high-scoring and memorable wines.  I strongly recommend adding a case of this fun-filled blend to your cellar.  With an incredible 94-95 Point Score from James Suckling, the 2015 vintage may not be available for long.

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2014 DAVID ARTHUR “ELEVATION 1147” CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Transcending from the iron-rich, volcanic, red soils of Pritchard Hill, David Arthur’s neighbors include highly sought after wineries such as Chappellet, Bryant Framily, and Colgin to name a few…

The 2014’s from David Arthur are outstanding…Brought to life by talented winemaker Nile Zacherle whose experience includes winemaking in Australia and Bordeaux, as well as Napa Valley wineries Barnett and Chateau Montelena. The winery has a terrific track record which spans more than 3 decades, crafting high-scoring and memorable wines…

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