Snowden

Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard – 2018

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.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • 2 acre Block C from the highest elevation on the Eastern slope at the top of knoll called “Palomino Hill,” on Napa Valley Eastern ridge between Rutherford and St. Helena
  • Altitude: 850 feet
  • Soils: Ryolite (volcanic sands)
  • Vines Planted: 2011
  • Clone Selections: 337, 191, 169
Harvest Notes
  • Mild 2018 spring with just enough rain accumulation over winter
  • Bud break and flowering a bit late, even weather conditions of abundant filtered light and even fruit set
  • Filtered light due to wildfires elsewhere in California, creating layer of smoke very far up in atmosphere which reduced UV rays 30% – but never reached ground level to interact with grapes
  • Relatively mild summer and fall, with few days above 100º F and even, moderate temperatures ensured slow, gentle ripening
  • Hand harvested September 30, 2018
  • Natural, wild yeast fermentation
  • Fermented dry
  • Aged 18 months in 50% new, 50% used French oak barrels
  • Bottled unblended, unfined and unfiltered on April 13, 2020
Winemaker's Notes

The 2018 growing season gave us a rich, balanced, and elegant Brothers Cabernet. This powerful and layered wine is densely packed with black plums, pencil lead, cedar, resin and dark fruits. Long and dense, the wine lingers on the palate for minutes. Somewhat strict in its youth, the Brothers 2018 will benefit from time in bottle to open and show the full spectrum of its aromatic and textural potential.

Wine Summary

100% organically farmed Cabernet Sauvignon; alcohol: 15.3%; vines planted 2011; 2 acre vineyard block on “Palomino Hill,” on Eastern ridge between Rutherford and St. Helena; 850 foot altitude; grown in Ryolite soils; hand harvested; fermented with only native yeasts; malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, 50% new, 50% used; aged 18 months; bottled unfined, unfiltered, unblended on 4/13/2020.

Technical Information
  • 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Alcohol: 15.3%
  • Organically grown grapes

Reviews

95 Points
#52 of TOP 100 WINES OF 2021

This is ripe, warm in feel and very polished, with alluring cassis, plum reduction and melted black licorice notes pouring through, while sleek alder, loam and bay leaf accents form the backdrop for a long, steady finish. Gorgeous. Best from 2022 through 2038.

https://top100.winespectator.com/lists/

Wine Spectator, August, 2021

(93 - 96) Points

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard brings together all the best elements of the Snowden style. Large swaths of tannin wrap around a potent, deep Cabernet Sauvignon endowed with real resonance and structure. Vertical in feel with soaring intensity, the 2018 is shaping up to be a real beauty and also one of the most complete wines from Diana Snowden in some time.

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, January, 2020

92 Points

This has ripe dark-fruit character, together with coffee, chocolate and cedar wood. Full-bodied, chewy and viscous with juicy fruit and crushed-stone minerality. Needs some time to soften the tannin structure. Solid and framed. Try from 2023.

jamessuckling.com, November, 2021

94 Points

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is a big step up in this range. There is an energy and vibrancy in the flavors that really distinguishes the Brothers. Bright acids and veins of supporting tannin lend striking vibrancy. I wouldn’t plan on touching a bottle anytime soon. There is so much to look forward to here. 2025 – 2038

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, January, 2022

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)