2018 Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon
93 pts James Suckling
When Founders Chris James and Ames Morison discovered Bell Mountain Ranch, several of the vines were barely hanging on to crumbling terraces. To restore the natural terraces and protect the vines from further destruction, the founders along with Chris James’ father moved 50 tons of rock by hand to restore natural terraces for the vine rows. An homage to their painstakingly hard work to restore the terraces, we’ve named this structured and muscular Cabernet Sauvignon, Fifty Tons. The specific blocks that were harvested to create this wine are on steep hillsides making them difficult to farm, but incredibly intense in flavor.
2018 Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon excites us with aromas of dark cherry, cigar box, cinnamon toast and baking spices. The palate is layered with lush blackberries, stewed strawberries, tomato leaf and concentrated black plum. The structured chalky tannins and long juicy finish will leave you wanting another sip.
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.