Dancing Bear Ranch 2015

Cakebread Cellars

Dancing Bear Ranch 2015

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: America / California / Napa Valley
Grapes: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc

Dancing Bear Ranch is an extraordinary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc 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 62% new French oak prior to bottling.

97 Points


2015 vintage
97 Points

Jeb Dunnuck

2015 vintage
view all press reviews

harvest note

After abundant harvests from 2012 through 2014, the 2015 growing season experienced more weather extremities that led to a small, yet outstanding, vintage. 2015 was the earliest harvest ever in Cakebread Cellars’ 40+ year history. A warm, dry winter fostered early bud-break, though a cold spell during fruit set limited cluster sizes. A warm summer and late-season heat spikes ensured beautiful ripening.

tasting note

Bright, high-toned aromas of ripe boysenberry, blackberry and dark cherry fruit are coupled with fascinating floral and forest-floor spice scents in the captivating nose of this complex mountain Cabernet. Dense and deeply concentrated on the palate, the wine offers intense black fruit flavors that segue into an extremely long, lush, dark-fruit finish laced with invigorating spice and mineral tones. Beautifully structured by big, but supple tannins and fresh acidity, Dancing Bear, despite its intensity, displays a charming elegance. Delicious upon release but will more than reward another decade of aging.

food pairing

Pair with steak, braised meats, ribs or roasts.

technical data

GRAPES: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc
APPELLATION: Dancing Bear Ranch, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
PH: 3.55
ACIDITY: 0.66g/100 ml
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: Matured 22 months in French oak, 62% new

points of distinction

  • 100% Estate grown single-vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc
  • The vineyard’s location on Howell Mountain features elevations of 1,400 to 1,900 feet and near 360 degree exposure
  • Matured 22 months in French oak barrels, 62% new
  • vineyard details +
  • about the grape +
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“Our emphasis on fruit quality captures the expression of blackberry and boysenberry in the wine.”

– Stephanie Jacobs, Winemaker

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