Dancing Bear Ranch 2017

Cakebread Cellars

Dancing Bear Ranch 2017

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: America / California / Napa Valley
Grapes: 89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc, 1% merlot

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.

93 Points

Wine & Spirits

2017 vintage
97 Points

Jeb Dunnuck

2017 vintage
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harvest note

Cool spring weather offered ideal conditions for flowering and “berry set”—when each tiny flower turns into a young grape. Temperatures were moderate through the summer, for slow, even ripening, then turned warmer during harvest, which sped things up and delivered small clusters with tremendous varietal character and balanced acidity. After several years of drought, Napa Valley saw ample rainfall during the winter of 2017. Grapes on our Dancing Bear Ranch are hand-harvested overnight for optimal expression of their namesake estate.

tasting note

Aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, and fig with accents of forest floor are highlighted in the 2017 vintage. On the palate, intense, concentrated flavors of blackberry, black cherry and boysenberry are balanced by traces of minerality and opulent tannins with a dense, powerful black fruit finish. Beautifully balanced and structured this intense, complex mountain wine will continue to unfold in the bottle for the next decade.

food pairing

Enjoy with rosemary braised lamb shanks, filet mignon, or grilled portabello mushrooms.

technical data

GRAPES: 89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc, 1% merlot
PH: 3.65
ACIDITY: 0.7 g/100ml
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 22 months in French oak, 60% new

points of distinction

  • Estate grown single-vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot
  • Howell Mountain location with elevations of 1,400 to 1,900 feet
  • Matured 22 months in French oak barrels, 60% 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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