The fruit in this Cabernet Sauvignon is framed by angular tannins – big, brawny, and dark. The framing is almost an “architectural” component that holds all the flavors together and provides a solid core, excellent structure. There is an aromatic sweetness to the 2013 offering with warm cedar, pine, and blue fruit. It is approachable with good continuity as the flavors evolve to cassis, forest floor, and Bing cherry.
93pts Robert Parker’s -The Wine Advocate
As we taste each individual lot of wine from the myriad of distinct blocks on our Bell Mountain Estate Ranch, we discover that certain parts of the vineyard are best as components for small production blends. These micro blocks are identified and, over time and experimentation, they become part of our Small Lot Collection. These wines are 100% estate-grown from organic grapes and limited in their release.
A structured and muscular Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine’s name – Fifty Tons – is derived from an early experience when Founder Chris James, his father, and Winemaker Ames Morison moved 50 tons of rock by hand to restore natural terraces for the vine rows. The blocks that were harvested to create this wine are on steep hillsides making them difficult to farm, but incredibly intense in flavor, a lean, gravelly nature we love, and completely worth the extra effort.
Aging this brooding wine in a mix of neutral and new French oak helped with the delivery of decisive and layered tannins paired with acidity. It is showing exceptionally well now and will continue to develop additional complexity over the next four to six years.
2013 was another banner growing season in Sonoma County and our vineyards here on Bell Mountain were no exception. The growing season started with a dry spring and provided consistent, moderate temperatures that allowed our grapes to slowly progress to optimal ripeness. Fruit quality and abundance were exceptional in 2013, and we began making wine with the very best building blocks: grapes that were evenly ripe and expressed true varietal character with balanced acidity. Although the season started slowly, it ended with a bang. Warm temperatures in August and September accelerated ripening, and the last vineyard block was harvested on October 16th,
about three weeks earlier than usual.