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 63% new French oak prior to bottling

91 Points
Wine Spectator
2016 vintage
99 Points
Wine Advocate
2016 vintage
Harvest Note
2016 began with the most abundant rainfall we’ve experienced in three decades, which refreshed and revitalized the vines after years of drought. Warm spring temperatures prompted an earlier-than-average budbreak, followed by a relatively cool summer with no heat spikes; these conditions allowed grapes to ripen slowly and steadily, and a warm, dry September helped them develop to full maturity. 2016 is another standout Cabernet Sauvignon vintage, with smaller yields of exceptional quality.
Tasting Note
Generous aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, and fig mix with appealing hints of forest floor. The boysenberry character extends over a concentrated, fleshy palate, joined by notes of blackberry and laced with a distinctive minerality. Opulent mountain tannins support the intense fruit through a powerful, elegant, lengthy finish.
Food Pairing
Enjoy with rosemary braised lamb shanks, filet mignon, or grilled portabello mushrooms.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot
APPELLATION: Napa Valley
PH: 3.71
ACIDITY: 0.64 g/100 ml
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 22 months in French oak, 63% new
Unique Selling Points
  • 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, 63% new

About the Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is adaptable to various growing conditions, and is known for its low yield and late ripeness. It generally produces full-bodied wines with substantial acidity and tannins.
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc usually shows tart red cherry and wild currant aromas and flavors with an herbal, spicy character. In the Loire, esp. Chinon and Saumur-Champigny, this grape shows firm minerality.
Merlot
Merlot makes plump, succulent wines to drink young or opulently massive wines for aging. Has silky, blackberry and currant fruit, with spice, earth, tobacco and chocolate notes, and soft tannins.
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