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2021 Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Specs
Cabernet Sauvignon
Mount Veeder

2021 Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley - Mount Veeder

94 Points - ​Wine Spectator
94 Points - ​Vinous

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/ 750ml
SKU: 2021CSB

As a “young man,” I encountered Mount Veeder for the first time over 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 whose focus was Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course more than 25 years of producing Zinfandel from those magnificent old vines of Brandlin Vineyard.  

In 2016 I returned to my earliest winemaking roots, with our first Cabernet Sauvignon from Brandlin Vineyard. To say it was an exciting and emotional experience would be an understatement. Equally exciting were the accolades the wine received as well as those for the subsequent vintages.

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 that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Drought conditions continued in 2021. A very dry spring added a degree of stress to the vines, and their answer—very small yields. On the plus side, low yields and small berries resulted in concentrated wines packed with depth and flavor. The growing season was relatively uneventful with no significant heat spikes or rain which allowed grapes to be harvested when they reached desired maturity. Indeed, the mood in 2021 was a bit celebratory after the challenges of 2020.  

Because our block of Cabernet rests on the hilltop ridge, grapes ripen 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.

Nearly opaque, saturated dark ruby in color, our 2021 presents a vibrant and enticing spectrum of aromas—black cherry preserves, anise, white pepper, graphite, sweet oak and vanilla. The expansive and youthful palate reflects the nose with a wonderful tension and synergy among the various elements. The wine is opulent, focused, and seamless--held in check with a finish that lingers and surprises. There is a purity to the wine that somehow captures the essence of that special parcel of soil in that particular piece of Brandlin Vineyard.


            This wine is a youngster—destined for longevity!