The wine offers a trifecta of ripe fruity aromas - blackberry, blueberry, and cherry - supported by flavors of tobacco, cocoa, caramel, and spice. The judicious use of American oak adds a bit more espresso notes to the profile.
91pts 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, organic, 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, with a lean, gravelly nature we love, and completely worth the extra effort.
The 2015 Fifty Tons offers a trifecta of ripe fruity aromas - blackberry, blueberry, and cherry - supported by notes of tobacco, cocoa, espresso, caramel, and spice. This is a full-bodied wine with plenty of tannin and a long, lingering warm finish. It provides power without being rough. We have been slowly increasing our use of American oak with this blend, which has enhanced the wine's style giving it more espresso notes and complementing the bigger profile that we target for the Fifty Tons offering. This is a wine that will continue to age well for the next five to eight years.
Cool, overcast conditions in May influenced the vines to set less fruit than normal. Fortunately the temperature rebounded and gave us one of our warmest years on record, but without the excessive temperature spikes we often see during warmer vintages. We also harvested earlier than in previous vintages. The result of these conditions was a lighter than expected crop, but with more intense aromatics and increased concentration, and generally lower alcohol.