Wine Advocate 96
Composed of 87.5 Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 Merlot, 3 Cabernet Franc, 3 Malbec and 1.5 Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder gives up notions of crme de cassis, violets, baker's chocolate, licorice and yeast extract with a touch of beef drippings. Full-bodied, concentrated and wonderfully expressive, the palate gives lovely ripe tannins and great freshness, finishing long and earthy. 3,363 cases produced.
Wine Spectator 94
This is filled with lush cassis, boysenberry and blackberry compote flavors, supported by dense, lush tannins. The finish is polished, with anise and roasted apple wood notes seamlessly integrated throughout, with a tarry echo at the very end keeping this grounded. A modern expression of mountain fruit.
James Suckling 92
Another blue-fruited nose that's never overripe with blackcurrants, citrus rind, some burnt orange, orange peel and brambles. Full-bodied with grainy tannins, fresh acidity and a chewy finish.
Wine Enthusiast 90
Blended with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, this is a full-bodied concentrated red thats thick in tannin and youthful structure. Black fruit, sage, clove and cinnamon figure into the rich, lushly crafted palate thats integrated in toasted oak.
Mt BraveView all from Mt Brave
The Mt. Brave Vineyard, once the Chateau Potelle Vineyard, was established decades ago at elevations ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. While Mt. Veeder is cool, Mt. Brave sits above the fog line, with morning sun warming the grapes each day. Soils are sparse, consisting of a gravelly loam with rocks large and small. Nutrients and minerals are scant, resulting in tiny berries with concentrated and complex flavors.
Winegrowing on the Mt. Brave vineyard is not for the timid. The usual practices must be forgotten at high elevations, where thin soils barely hold water, and rocky terrain challenges both rootstock and man. Winter rains must be captured, and erosion prevented. During harvest, small lug boxes must be carefully moved up and down steep slopes to protect both vines and vineyard workers. The work is hard and labor-intensive. Little mechanized modern technology is found here.
The wines of Mt. Brave show the characteristic brambly aromas and blue fruit flavors that are common to Mt. Veeder but are expressed here uncommonly well. They feature intense minerality, well-defined tannins allowing for extended aging, and recognizable mouth-pleasing acidity. The incredible structure suggests an extended development over time, but the wines have been crafted for enjoyment and celebration in the present.