Snowden

Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard – 2015

Region: CALIFORNIA - NAPA VALLEY

Snowden

Since 1955, the Snowdens have farmed their vineyard high above the Napa Valley. In addition to the stunning views of St. Helena, Rutherford and the San Francisco Bay, the estate offers four separate sites producing remarkably complex and individualistic wines. Winemaking duties are in the capable hands of Diana Snowden Seysses. The winery produces Bordeaux blends from their estate vineyards and a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc from a small parcel they call the Lost Vineyard.

Grapes / Soils

98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot Planted in 2009 Perlite (volcanic), sand 11 acres

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Our Brothers Vineyard comprises 11 gently rolling acres at 850 feet of elevation atop the eastern ridge of the Napa Valley between Rutherford and St. Helena.  It includes a knoll we call “Palomino Hill,” where our highest elevation vines grow.  This vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the eastern slope of tiny Palomino Hill – from the two acre Block C, one of six blocks within the Brothers Vineyard.  Yields were down in 2015, but the smaller clusters, smaller berries, and warm fall weather swung our wines toward the “bigger-richer” end of the spectrum.  The 2015 Brothers is a powerful expression of our site and a unique vintage – a wine Antonio Galloni described when tasting from barrel as “rich, voluptuous and opulent to the core …”

Harvest Notes

The 2015 vintage was the third dry, warm, early vintage in a weather pattern that began after the 2011 vintage and persisted through 2016. The growing season stands apart from the other drought years for its end of season fires in Lake County coupled with a heat wave which pushed all vineyards to ripeness quickly  —  and everything was harvested with in a small amount of time shortly thereafter. It also stands out for its tiny crop with small berries giving the vintage distinctive concentration. The 2015s are dramatic in every way; dark, brooding, rich and concentrated. These are wines for the long haul.

Natural, wild yeast fermentation; fermented dry, no sugar added; aged 19 months in French oak, 50% new, 50% used; bottled unfined and unfiltered on April 20, 2017

Winemaker's Notes

The 2015 Brothers speaks of both the warm vintage and the place it comes from. It has the hallmark aromas of pencil lead, cedar and cloves, coupled with the unmistakable signs of sunshine – blackberries, blueberries and dark plums. On the palate, it is layered, long and brooding. Impressive in its power and concentration, this wine will last decades and is worth waiting for.

Wine Summary

• Made from 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot grapes.
• Vine age – planted in 2009.
• Grown on soils of Perlite (volcanic), sand.
• Fermented in stainless steel tanks, using naturally occurring yeast.
• Aged in French oak barrels.
• Aged for 19 months.
• Bottled unfined & unfiltered.

Technical Information

• 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot
• 16% Alcohol
• 512 cases made (750 ml and 1.5L)

Reviews

95+ Points

A knockout wine, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers dazzles from the very first taste.  Racy, powerful and voluptuous in the glass, with tons of textural resonance, the Brothers captures all the best qualities of the 2015 vintage.  Time in the glass brings out the wine’s inner perfume, with hints of espresso, chocolate, grilled herbs and red cherry jam that add nuance to the sepia-toned flavors.  The tannins need time to settle down, but the 2015 is impressive, even in the very early going.

Vinous, December, 2017

93 - 95 Points

The star in this vintage is the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard, which is virtually all Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine has terrific intensity, a full-bodied, layered juicy, mouthful of glycerin, blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, a touch of spring flowers and forest floor.  It is layered, low in acidity, with ripe integrated tannin showing no oak.  This is a a head-turning, luscious style to drink over the next 25 years.

© Wine Advocate, October, 2016

General Info

Country USA
Region Napa Valley
Appellation(s) Napa Valley
Proprietors Scott and Joann Snowden and Randy and Janet Snowden, managing directors of Snowden Vineyards
Founded 1955
Winemaker Diana Snowden-Seysses
Annual Production 2,900 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable (including no chemical herbicides used in vineyards)