Andy brought this wine to dinner at Aria Restaurant in Cupertino. As posted in earlier notes, we first met Randy Snowden at one of our winemaker dinners at Brix Restaurant in Napa back in 1998 and have been collecting Snowden Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ever since. "The Ranch" label has been added in recent years. Randy and his brother Scott, both attorneys, preside over the property that sits 450 to 850 feet above the Silverado Trail. The property was acquired by their parents back in the fifties. My recollection from that meeting was that their father Wayne Snowden was a professor at UC Berkeley when he acquired the property in 1955. After he passed away in 1977 the brothers took over in 1981. They produced their first Snowden label vintage in 1993. Most of their production is sold to Silver Oak, Frank Family Vineyards, Viader and in recent years, David Ramey.
During these Napa Wine Experience visits of 1997 through 2000 we hosted gala tasting dinners with the 'Undisccovered Dozen' "emerging new wine producers to watch", featured in an article in Wine Spectator Magazine. Many of these producers released their inaugural vintage releases in or about the 1994 vintage. Those producers and winery visits included Plumpjack, David Arthur, Clark-Claudon, Robert Craig, Del Dotto, Elan, Paradigm, Pride Vineyards, Snowden, Nils Venge and White Cottage. They are featured on my winesite http://www.unwindwine.com. A complete index of my tasting notes of these wines over the years is on the site at this link to California Producers Index. These producers make up a foundation of our wine cellar collection even today. In many of these wines, we still have vertical selections of these wines, some dating back to those early release vintages.Another of these tasting events is featured in my unwindwine blog http://unwindwine.blogspot.com/2011/07/plumpjack-napa-valley-oakville-estate.html.
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is dark purple colored and medium to full bodied. It boasts complex flavors of berry, dark red fruit with a layer of tea and tobacco, with hints of licorice and cassis. This represents good value at $40 for a blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Cabernet Franc 18.2%, and Petit Verdot 6.8%.
RM 91 points.