Dancing Bear Ranch

Cakebread Cellars

Dancing Bear Ranch

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: America / California / Napa Valley

Dancing Bear Ranch is a spectacular site on the steep, rugged slopes of Howell Mountain in northern Napa Valley. Divided into 24 separate blocks based on varietal type (cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc), sun exposure, soil profile and clonal selection, the vineyard is planted in dry, rocky, volcanic soils between 1,100 to 1,900 feet and enjoys a near 360-degree exposure, offering a diverse range of growing conditions. Because the vines grow high above the fog line, they receive the full attention of the summer sun and must work hard to accommodate Cakebread’s precision irrigation strategy. As a result, they are routinely stressed and yield small crops of intensely flavorful grapes. To ensure the fruit reaches full maturity, the crop on each vine is carefully managed to achieve optimal flavor development and the extraordinary quality for which Dancing Bear Cabernet Sauvignon is renowned.

90 Points


2014 vintage
94 Points


2013 vintage
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tasting note

Dancing Bear reflects the intense characteristics of its rugged mountain terroir and the hard work required to cultivate this special site. Dense aromas of ripe boysenberry, dark plum and cassis are layered with scents of loam, forest-floor spice and dark chocolate. On the expansive palate, intense, concentrated flavors of blackberry, black cherry, boysenberry, plum and chocolate are balanced by well-structured, ripe tannins and culminate in a very long, persistent finish highlighting dark berry, earthy spice and mineral tones. Beautifully balanced and structured for long-term aging, this intense, complex mountain red is still a youngster and will benefit from another decade of aging.

food pairing

Pair with steak, braised meats, ribs or roasts.

points of distinction

  • 100% Estate grown single-vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot
  • Matured 22 months in French oak (56% new)
  • The vineyard’s location on Howell Mountain features elevations of 1,100 to 1,900 feet and near 360 degree exposure
  • vineyard details +
  • about the grape +
Sq_cbc_tmc_winery Sq_cbc_julianne

“Our emphasis on fruit quality captures the expression of blackberry and boysenberry in the wine.”

– Julianne Laks, Winemaker

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