Wine Spectator 95
WS TOP 100 2020 Rank 68
This offers blackberry, boysenberry and açaí berry compote flavors that sparkle with anise, sassafras and sage accents. Shows serious tarry grip, but that recedes into the fruit as this airs in the glass, leaving embers of singed juniper and alder at the very end. Best from 2023 through 2040.
Wine Advocate 95
Two percent of the Malbec in the blend this year comes from the 2018 vintage. Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder bursts out of the glass with vivacious black currants, black cherries and wild blueberries notes with touches of dark chocolate, licorice, violets and cloves. Full-bodied, firm and very finely grained in terms of texture, the palate explodes with fruit and freshness, finishing very long and wonderfully fragrant. Impressive!
Wine Enthusiast 94
Densely built in cassis, dried herb, cedar and sage, this lovely wine from the great appellation shows structure and grip in its youth. Dusty gravel adds to the weight and texture, with ample acidity to keep it fresh in the glass.
Jeb Dunnuck 93
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is a richer, broader, more concentrated wine, yet it also has a serious amount of tannins. Lots of dark chocolate, blackcurrant, forest floor, and espresso notes all emerge from this full-bodied, concentrated, impressive effort that’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and have 20+ years of longevity. The blend is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% each of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
James Suckling 92
Extremely pure fruit with blueberries and blackcurrants. Lavender, too. Full body. Stony and slightly austere tannins, but real mountain character.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and opulent but maintains an underlying thread of pure finesse. Blackberries and spice jump from the glass followed by secondary notes of dark chocolate and anise. Perfectly balanced acidity leads to a long, memorable finish. Beguiling now, the 2017 will charm your cellar for years to come.
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.