They first discovered, and were irretrievably drawn to this unique property in the late 1980’s. For over 20 years they have shared the beauty and mystery of Arkenstone with bear, coyote, mountain lion, rattle snake, scorpion and raptors of all sorts (as well as voracious grape eating wild turkeys). Remnants of native obsidian work, as well as walls made of local stone built during the 1800's, are constant reminders that we are just the latest inhabitants to appreciate and benefit from this land.
Their serious interest in wine and our families’ farming history perhaps made it inevitable that they would think about planting vineyards here. They knew they did not want to clear the site for an “industrial” vineyard but didn’t know whether the effort required of farming the small patches of open space using sustainable practices could be justified. Then, in early 1995, a good friend of theirs, who grew up in a Napa Valley wine family and founded her own label, encouraged them. She arranged for an expert who consulted for top vineyards all over the world to come to the Napa Valley to evaluate a number of potential vineyard sites. He included Arkenstone on this visit. Test holes were dug, and on a cloudy wet day they tramped around the property talking about dirt, drainage, exposures, air movement, and, most importantly, the promise of the site. His conclusion was that wine grapes of very high quality could be produced here, and that Arkenstone was indeed a special site. They decided to make this promise a reality.
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck... Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced all from higher elevation sites, the 2017 Arkenstone Cabernet Sauvignon offers a mountain fruit profile of pure crème de cassis, toasted spice, brioche, dried herbs, and earth. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, and balanced, with tons of character. It's going to keep for 20+ years.
92 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate... This comes from eastern Napa hillside vineyards in Calistoga, Howell Mountain and Pritchard Hill, ranging from 1,000 to 1,800 feet in elevation. Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it was aged 22 months in 75% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple in colour, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon charges forth with bombastic black cherries, cassis and tilled earth notes with sparks of Mediterranean herbs and charcuterie plus a waft of black olives. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tightly knit with firm, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness supporting the taut black fruit, finishing long and mineral laced.