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.

91 Points
Wine Enthusiast
2017 vintage
95 Points
Wine Advocate
2017 vintage
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
APPELLATION: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
PH: 3.65
ACIDITY: 0.7 g/100ml
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 22 months in French oak, 60% 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, 60% 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.
On-Line Assistant
Ask the Expert
We look forward to hearing from you! Please choose a subject from the options below and let us know your name and email address before adding your message.