As a “young man,” I encountered Mount Veeder for the first time nearly forty years ago. So different I thought from the rest of Napa Valley. It was the home of my first job, working in the vineyards on the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains. Every year since, my wine career has been entwined with this very special appellation--winemaker at Mount Veeder Winery, and of course more than 25 years of producing Zinfandel from those magnificent old vines of Brandlin Vineyard. Arguably it became our flagship and most sought after wine.
The last Cabernet Sauvignon I produced from Mount Veeder was in 1992. In 2016 I return to my earliest winemaking roots, with our first Cabernet Sauvignon from Brandlin Vineyard. To call it an exciting and emotional experience would be an understatement.
Over the last several decades I have observed the cycles of winemaking styles. As I enter my “twilight years,” the goal remains even more so, to produce wines that are fresh, balanced, complex, and palatable. As I’ve mentioned many times, “delicious” is the word we like to hear. Mountain fruit can easily result in ponderous and over the top wines, but because of their depth of flavor, if handled properly they offer the potential for another alternative wine experience.
We were rewarded with another outstanding vintage in 2016. Sunshine and a warm dry spring led to mild and ideal growing conditions throughout the summer. Because of late winter rains, the vines began their growing season a little happier and less stressed than in 2015. With no weather extremes to interfere, grapes ripened slowly and evenly, resulting in beautiful concentration of flavor and aromas. Because our block of Cabernet rests on the hilltop ridge, grapes ripened evenly, sometimes a challenge in the mountains. Curiously enough, it sits adjacent to those 90-year-old Zinfandel vines, surely capturing some of the magic and energy of those vines.
Our 2016 Brandlin Cabernet is vibrant, youthful, and dark ruby in color—nearly opaque. The nose offers luxurious notes of bay, allspice, cassis, white pepper and thyme. Flavors reflect the nose, gravitating toward wild blueberry and expand to a mouth-filling impression that is bright and lively but with a feminine touch that reigns in the brawn of brooding mountain fruit. Fine, pure, and elegant, the hallmarks of our winemaking style.
Brandlin Vineyard Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. I like the ring of that. We are thrilled to announce its arrival!