2018 Kate's & B's Cabernet Sauvignon
95 pts Jeb Dunnuck; 94 pts James Suckling; 91 pts Wine Enthusiast
When co-founders Chris James and Ames Morison first started Medlock Ames, their passion was Cabernet and Bordeaux blends, so 50% of the vines at Bell Mountain Vineyards were planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Bell Mountain Vineyard stretches along the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Foothills with rolling hills that provide microclimates throughout the vineyards. This allows for experimentation of Cabernet Sauvignon in blocks across the property. Among the dozen Cabernet blocks, the Kate’s and B’s blocks are two of the steepest sloping plantings of Cabernet and continue to produce some of the richest Cabernet on our vineyard.
Kate's & B's is named for the wives of co-founder Chris James and Ames Morison. These blocks are reflective of classic Bordeaux terroir with high-density vine spacing, gravely clay soils, tiny yields of small inky-black berries, and a thoughtful clonal selection matched by a rigorous farming regime.
2018 Kate’s & B’s has aromas of elegant lavender, sweet vanilla, and warm Christmas spice. The palate is filled with blackberries, raspberries, and hints of cranberry. Elements of cigar box, pencil shavings complement the silky round tannins and a tight backbone of acid that will subdue over time. This wine begs for a special occasion or just to be with someone special when you open it. Enjoy now and give it some time to breathe or hold for a few years to allow the rich flavors to evolve.
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.