Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowden 'Ranch' Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Snowden 'The Ranch' Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

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 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

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.

Cal Cab Classics - Karl Lawrence Reserve Morisoli Vineyard 2005 - Spring Mtn Elivette 2003

Cal Cab Classics - Karl Lawrence Reserve Morisoli Vineyard 2005 - Spring Mtn Elivette 2003

With AJ and Lori, Saturday afternoon at Vintages on Santana Row in San Jose, bought and poured two class premium California Cabernet Sauvignons with cheese, olives and pasta salad from the neighborhood gourmet deli.It doesn't get much better.

Karl Lawrence Reserve Gary Morisoli Vineyard 2005 - Dark purple color - medium-full bodied. Complex, polished and smooth but somewhat subdued nose and fruit flavors of black currant, black berry and black cherry fruits with hints of tobacco and anise on a well balanced lingering finish. Perhaps needs more time to open and fully reveal itself.

RM 92 points.

Spring Mountain Elivette Napa Valley Red Wine 2003

A Bordeaux style blend. Dark purple color, full-bodied - complex and polished but a bit closed and tight with subdued full forward flavors of black berry and black cherry fruit with hints of spice, cedar, and touch of coffee flavors, This one too will evolve for a few more years to further reveal itself.

RM 92 points.