Dancing Bear Ranch, on Howell Mountain, is a 29-acre vineyard at an elevation between 1,100 and 1,900 feet. The hardy 10-year-old vines that produce this Cabernet are rooted in well-drained volcanic soil and enjoy a variety of sun exposures on the steep hillsides. Careful crop load management ensures optimal ripening and flavor development, while close monitoring during fermentation and maceration captures the fruitís intense mountain character before maturation and blending.
|Our 2007 Dancing Bear displays the intriguing dance of intensity and elegance that has become this mountain wine's trademark. High-toned aromas of freshly crushed boysenberries, dark cherries and forest-floor spice (imagine walking in a pine forest after a light summer rainfall) introduce a big, dense, tightly wound palate packed with marvelously rich and concentrated black cherry, boysenberry and blackberry flavors, which are enhanced by savory clove, cocoa and vanilla tones. Beautifully structured and with great reserves of intense fruit supported by round, beautifully integrated tannins, this dramatic mountain red will delight wine lovers now and over the next decade.
|2007: 91+ Points - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "The dense purple-colored 2007 Dancing Bear Ranch Proprietary Red (80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc) reveals more chocolate fudge and coffee notes. It does not have the nuances or complexity of the Benchland Select or the sheer joy of the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, but there is a lot going on in this cuvee. Slightly monolithic, it is well-endowed, rich and full, so my rating may be slightly conservative.
This benchmark winery has again turned out some impressive wines.
|Wine maker notes
|Now a decade old, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines in our Dancing Bear Ranch on Howell Mountain in eastern Napa Valley are coming into their own. Hugging steep hillsides at elevations ranging from 1,800 to 2,200 feet, these hardy vines are rooted in well-drained volcanic soils and enjoy excellent sun exposure, prompting their fruit to ripen earlier in the harvest season than do our valley floor vineyards. To ensure the grapes reach full physiological maturity, we carefully manage the crop load on each vine for optimal ripening and flavor development. The 2007 Dancing Bear is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc.
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
100% Dancing Bear Ranch, Estate Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
21 months in French oak, 47% new
Harvest Dates: October 1, 2008