2020 Bell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
94 pts, The Wine Independent | 92 pts, Decanter
Of Bell Mountain Vineyard’s 55 acres of vines, 50% are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, a testament to our passion for this grape. Our vineyard is 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.
The 2020 Bell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic well-made wine that showcases why Cabernet triumphs at Bell Mountain Vineyard. Aromas of rich concentrated blueberry, leather and baking spices jump out of the glass. The wine has a powerful entry with fruit flavors of strawberry pie, stewed raspberry, and blueberry preserves. Bright spice, walnuts and fresh herbs flavors are balanced with Bell Mountain’s distinctive fresh acidity and medium tannins. A palate pleasing cabernet that begs for grilled steak, lamb chops or cheese alongside.
With half the average rainfall during the winter and spring, there was very minimal vegetative growth. Cooler spring temperatures and a spurt of heavy rain during flowering led to a very light crop. The combination of these both created concentration, depth, and substantial density in the fruit. Several short heat spikes and a smaller crop load created optimal conditions for early ripening. We were fortunate to pick everything early, escaping any smoke damage from the devastating wildfires throughout California. Although one of our smallest vintages in history at Bell Mountain, this is offset by the exceptional quality of our 2020 wines.