Snowden

Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard – 2019

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

Cabernet Sauvignon 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. Cabernet Franc from single acre at 800 feet.

  • Altitude: 800 – 850 feet
  • Soils: Ryolite (volcanic sands)
  • Vines Planted: 2011
  • CS Clone Selections: 337, 191, 169
Harvest Notes
  • 2019 growing season began with much-needed rains
  • Water reserves replenished, vines grew quickly
  • Intensive vineyard work to keep up with ground vegetation & canopy management
  • Removal of lateral shoots & excess fruit critical to maintain balance
  • Even growing season without heat spikes even in fall
  • Harvests at leisure, chosen at optimal ripeness, resulting in generous and plush wines with exceptional aromatic complexity
  • Varieties hand harvested between 9/30 – 10/11/2019
  • Wild yeast fermented
  • Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels
Winemaker's Notes

To blend or not to blend? – the question plagues us time and again as we struggle to arbitrate between taste and tradition. Given the nuances of the 2019 vintage and our long-standing tradition of blending our top wine, for 2019 this blend emerged as the strongest version of the Brothers Vineyard. The wine dances with aromatics of violets and cherries, tobacco, cedar and pencil shavings. The palate is a little less strict than other vintages, full and long, generous and layered. This gorgeous wine will be delicious now and for the next 20 years.

Wine Summary

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 2% Peit Verdot; alcohol: 14.5%; vines planted 2011; Cabernet from 2 acre vineyard block on “Palomino Hill,” on Eastern ridge between Rutherford and St. Helena, Cabernet Franc from single acre; grapes organically grown; 800 – 850 feet altitude; grown in Ryolite soils; hand harvested; fermented with indigeous yeasts; malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, 50% new; aged 17 months; bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Technical Information
  • 80% Cabernet Sauvignon,  18% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Organically grown grapes

Reviews

92 Points

Bold cherry notes join hints of cedar, vanilla and sage on the nose of the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard. Like the other offerings from Snowden, it’s medium to full-bodied and silky, with fine-grained tannins and a softly dusty finish. This is a very pretty wine, and while it may not have the concentration for true long-term greatness, it should offer delicious drinking for more than a decade. 2022 – 2035

© Wine Advocate, May, 2022

93 Points

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is the most delicate and transparent of the 2019s here. Crushed flowers, spice, mint and bright red-toned fruit accents lend subtlety and translucent finesse to this nicely balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. 2024 – 2036

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, September, 2021

92 Points

Lots of ripe berries and cherries with floral and walnut undertones. Full and juicy, yet fresh and linear, with lots going on. Needs time to open. Try after 2025.

jamessuckling.com, May, 2022

92 Points

This shows a mix of sanguine, mulled currant and plum fruit, red tea and tobacco leaf notes, all carried by a silky but persistent structure. The tobacco leaf note lingers the longest on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.

Wine Spectator, November, 2022

94 Points

The 2019 Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Snowden estate augments its namesake grape with eighteen percent cabernet franc and two percent petit verdot in this vintage. The wine is handled exactly the same as these other lovely Snowden wines, with native yeast fermentation, no ferment additives, gentle extraction, seventeen months aging in fifty percent new oak and bottling without filtration. The wine offers up a refined bouquet of cassis, dark berries, cigar smoke, lavender, fresh thyme, dark soil tones and a judicious framing of spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nicely soil-driven in personality, with a fine core of black fruit, suave, buried tannins, lovely focus and balance and a long, complex and very refined finish. This is an absolutely beautiful young wine! 2033 – 2085

View From The Cellar, December, 2022

17 Points

Shaded crimson with a ruby rim. Complex nose. Very luscious palate entry and then it is pure pleasure without too much sweetness of alcohol. Very neat and well balanced. 2022 – 2028

JancisRobinson.com, October, 2023

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)