Dancing Bear Ranch 2018

Cakebread Cellars

Dancing Bear Ranch 2018

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: America / California / Napa Valley
Grapes: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cab 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 60% new French oak prior to bottling

92 Points

Wine Spectator

2018 vintage
view all press reviews

harvest note

The 2018 growing season kicked off with plentiful winter rainfall to replenish the soils. Steady vine growth and berry development progressed evenly through the summer months. The vintage was cooler than usual; grapes reached peak maturity with balanced fruit flavors and firm tannins.

tasting note

Generous aromas of boysenberry, black cherry and fig accented with earthy notes. Robust, concentrated flavors on the palate, the wine offers blackberry and boysenberry notes layered with hints of minerality. Structured and opulent tannins fill the palate with a deep, powerful black fruit finish. Dancing Bear, despite its intensity, displays a charming elegance. Delicious upon release but will more than reward another decade of aging.

food pairing

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

technical data

GRAPES: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cab Franc
APPELLATION: Napa Valley
PH: 3.65
ACIDITY: 0.65 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
  • Renowned 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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