2017 Cakebread Dancing Bear Ranch Howell Mtn Cab Sav
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
The top Cabernet is the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch, which comes all from the Howell Mountain AVA. It's another inky colored beauty boasting a terrific perfume of black and blue fruits, ground herbs, spice box, graphite, and forest floor. With brilliant minerality on the palate as well as full-bodied richness and an expansive, opulent texture, it has sweet tannins and is approachable today, yet will benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for 25-30 years. It's one of the few 2017s to come close to its 2016 counterpart. Bravo!
Decanter 96 Points
The intense character of the 550m elevation and volcanic, dry, Howell Mountain vineyard site comes through vividly in this rich, bold wine, with its nose of bacon, old wood and tobacco. Yet it also shows nuances of sweet spices, violet pastilles and even a hint of mint.
Wine Advocate: 95 Points
Bottled only three weeks ago, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch is composed of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot, having spent 22 months in 60% new French oak. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it reveals beautiful notions of kirsch, red and black currant preserves, raspberry pie and warm plums with hints of red roses, stewed tea, underbrush and cinnamon stick. Medium-bodied, the palate has wonderful red fruit and floral intensity intermingled with black fruits, framed by firm, grainy tannins and a wicked backbone of freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. Very different from the epic 2016 Dancing Bear, but very exciting!
Vinous: 93 Points
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear ranch is a gorgeous Howell Mountain red. Succulent black cherry, plum, licorice, spice, new leather, rose petal and blood orange all run through this deep, resonant, unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon from Cakebread. This is a very pretty wine.
-- Antonio Galloni
Dancing Bear Ranch is an extraordinary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the Dancing Bear Ranch Estate Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Divided into 24 separate blocks based on varietal type, sun exposure, soil profile, and clonal selection, the vineyard is planted in dry, rocky, volcanic soils between 1,400 and 1,900 feet of elevation and enjoys a near 360-degree exposure, offering a diverse range of growing conditions. The well-drained soils and position high above the fog line routinely stresses the vines, yielding small crops of intensely flavorful grapes. Fermentation and maceration are carefully managed to monitor tannin levels and limit over-extraction of the small berries with intense mountain character. Free-run component wines are aged in French oak barrels and subsequently blended, for a total of 22 months in 60% new French oak prior to bottling.
USA, California, Napa
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot
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Bottles are in perfect condition.