2020 The Wedding Tree Cabernet Sauvignon
95 pts, The Wine Independent | 92 pts, Decanter
As we look ahead to the next 20 years for Bell Mountain Vineyard and Medlock Ames, we can’t help but be nostalgic about the first two decades. The four sons of the founders have grown from tiny sprouts into tall men, and we want to honor the new generation through our wines.
Each of our Cabernet Sauvignons are crafted from over 25 different blocks and styled in a way that shows what this grape can do throughout one vineyard. The Wedding Tree Cabernet Sauvignon is an evolution of the original Kate’s & B’s wine that was named for the wives of the founders and crafted in a way that showed the elegance of the grape and subtlety of tannins that only Alexander Valley and our special spot at Bell Mountain Vineyard can create. We have renamed this same style of Cabernet Sauvignon after an ancient, stately olive tree that provided the backdrop for the first wedding ever held at Bell Mountain almost 20 years ago. This tree cast its great branches over the couple as they shared their vows and had endured all the wonders and harshness that mother nature has thrown at Bell Mountain over the years. This tree remains steadfast as it did all those years ago and remains a symbol of love and devotion today.
The 2020 Wedding Tree is an elegant wine with an abundance of floral and baking spices, black tea, vanilla, and fresh thyme aromas. A seductive palate with an initial fruit explosion of blueberry pie and compote combines perfectly with the soft but structured tannins. This dense sweet core is finished off with an elegant richness of cocoa powder, caramel, and rich black cherry.
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.