2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
90pts - Wine Advocate
Of Bell Mountain Ranch’s 55 acres of vines, 50% are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, a testament to our passion for this grape. Our vineyards are situated in the southeast corner of Alexander Valley at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range giving us well-drained, gravelly-clay soil with a compacted layer of volcanic ash underneath. This location has the hot Alexander Valley summers combined with cool nights that is just what the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is looking for to maximize sugar, acid and tannin development.
Our 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon shows powerful fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry and plum intermingled with spice elements of nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of black pepper. The warming aromas continue with chocolate, cigar box and leather. On the palate, the black fruits explode combined with pomegranate, coffee and licorice flavors. A long finish continues to enhance the fresh acidity and firm, structured tannins that make this an age worthy wine.
2017 was a year of extremes. The winter gave us twice our normal rainfall ending a five-year drought. The summer then came on with more scorchers than we care to count (16 days over 100 degrees!) The season ended with the most devastating fire in California’s history. We hope to never see a year like this one again. Despite the challenging growing conditions, the extremes ripened the grapes in magical ways allowing us to make some of our greatest wines – bright and aromatic whites and rosé plus supple, concentrated reds. As with everything in winemaking (and with farming in general), timing was key. Knowing when to pick (and being lucky!) made all the difference.