2018 Bell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
94 pts, James Suckling | 93 pts, Jeb Dunnuck | 91 pts, Wine Enthusiast
Of Bell Mountain Ranch’s 44 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 which is just what the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is looking for to maximize sugar, acid, and tannin development.
The 2018 Bell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a true expression of Bell Mountain Ranch. The wine encompasses a rich profile of summer ripe berries, cigar box, chocolate-covered strawberries, and blue fruits. Hints of lavender with a touch of sea spray spring from the glass. This is a wine with an elegant but prominent palate and tingling tannins that leave you craving another sip or a juicy steak on the side.
The winter gave us less rainfall than normal. Almost all of the precipitation came in the early spring so the vineyard had a full profile of water to start the growing season. We saw good early growth, a few warm periods, but no severe heat spikes. The key ripening period in late summer and early fall was cool and sunny, delaying harvest by a week but allowing full flavor development. We were blessed with a vintage we always dream about: abundant fruit of excellent quality.