From the Winemaker - "Our Dancing Bear Ranch is perched high above northern Napa Valley on the steep, rugged slopes of Howell Mountain. Planted in dry, rocky, volcanic soils elevated between 1,100 and 1,900 feet, the vines are subject to nearly 360 degrees of exposure to the elements. As a result, vines in this location are routinely stressed and yield small crops of intensely flavorful grapes. The vines are separated into 24 separate blocs based on sun exposure, soil profile, clonal selection and varietal type (cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc). We precisely manage and irrigate the crop on each vine to achieve optimal flavor development and the extraordinary quality for which Dancing Bear Cabernet Sauvignon is renowned.
Our goal with Dancing Bear is to capture the intense mountain character of fruit from this unique site; small-lot winemaking allows our winemaker to monitor extraction during fermentation, so that each lot achieves just the right balance between fruit and tannin. Aging in French oak barrels-predominantly new oak-adds depth to this remarkable wine.
This big, dramatic wine has become a cult classic among lovers of Howell Mountain cabernet sauvignon, including the bears who call this high-elevation estate home. This wine offers generous aromas of black cherry and fig that carry over onto a concentrated, fleshy palate."
97+ Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch is composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the gate with bold crème de cassis, blackberry pie and plum preserves scents, followed by touches of star anise, bouquet garni and tar with a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied and packed with juicy black fruits, the palate is beautifully framed by plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of fragrant earth and exotic spice accents. Rating: 97+
90 Points - James Suckling A concentrated cabernet with aromas of baked blackberries, dark cherries, chocolate, coffee, toast and sweet spices. Full body with firm, creamy tannins. Rich and chewy. A blend of 98% cabernet sauvignon and 2% cabernet franc. Drink or hold.