November 17, 2020
By Bruce Neyers
The Ron Smith Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Oak Knoll, looking west to the Napa River tree line
We just got the news that our 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Napa Valley’ has been selected by the Wine Spectator for inclusion in an upcoming issue as one of the top scoring bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage, and was awarded a score of 90 points. Here’s what they had to say:
“Fresh and focused, with a pretty beam of cassis and raspberry coulis notes, flecked with floral and anise accents. Judicious toast on the back end lets this play out nicely. Drink now through 2027. 700 cases made.” 90 points – James Molesworth
This is our first release of a Cabernet Sauvignon made from purchased grapes since 1995, and accurately reflects our fondness for the wines of the southern reaches of the Napa Valley. The vineyard providing these grapes is in the Oak Knoll district, just south of Stag’s Leap.
In 2017, this section of the Napa Valley enjoyed especially cool weather during the final stages of ripening, which extended the length of the growing season and yielded ideal fruit for the wine.
The grapes were fermented on the skins for 45 days using only the native yeast trapped on the skins, and the finished wine was aged in a selection of new and used 60-gallon French oak barrels for 18 months, before we bottled the wine, unfined and unfiltered.
Look for a complex aroma of wild cherries and chocolate, with hints of tobacco leaf and berry. The wine is softened by the extended skin maceration, and is already attractively drinkable.
The rows in Smith’s Vineyard run effectively east and west to capture the full arc of the sun