Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch – 2016



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

Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area ha or acres
Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 78%, Merlot 18%, Petit Verdot 4% Planted 1994, 1997, and 2011 Rhyolite (volcanic) sand 8.9 acres

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

We blended the Cabernet Sauvignon from our western-most Lower Vineyard and our eastern-most Lost Orchard Vineyard with Merlot and Petit Verdot to create this wine, which is a summary of the property.

Harvest Notes
  • The 2016 growing season followed the near-average rainfall of the winter of 2015-16, a great relief after the preceding four years of drought
  • Temperatures were consistently mild and even, which made for slow, steady ripening and a longer time for fruit to stay on the vine
  • The 2016 wines have an ease about them – the unrushed vintage allowed for wines with balance and character, highlighted by exquisite floral and higher toned aromas
Winemaker's Notes

2016 was a knock-out vintage for our Ranch Cabernet. The Merlot ensures its approachability, but 2016 gave the wine an unusual richness and flair. It can be enjoyed immediately (and often) but will continue to evolve for several more years.


Wine Summary

Made from 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 4% Petite Verdot grapes; vine age – planted in 2011; grown on Perlite (volcanic) sand soils; fermented in stainless steel tanks using native yeasts; aged 17 months in French oak barrels; bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Technical Information
  • 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Petite Verdot
  • Alcohol: 14.1%
  • Harvested September 19 and 24, 2016
  • Aged 17 months in French oak
  • Bottled unfined and unfiltered
  • 1091 cases produced


93 Points

Snowden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is gorgeous. Dark, powerful and beautifully structured, the 2016 Ranch is a huge overachiever. In 2016, the Ranch is a wine of real power, gravitas and character. Black cherry, plum, lavender and savory herbs all develop in the glass, but it is the wine’s persistence and overall balance that stands out in this deeply flavorful, classically built Cabernet from Snowden. Best of all, the 2016 is a superb wine for the money.

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, December, 2018

91 Points

This is a fresh, sleek style, with a racy beam of black currant and blackberry fruit flavors inlaid with subtle dark tobacco and singed alder notes. A bit youthfully tight but this should unwind soon enough in the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2028.

Wine Spectator, April, 2019

92 Points

Elderberries, blueberries, blackberries and hints of hazelnuts and walnuts. Medium to full body, focused acidity and a medium-chewy finish. Drink in 2022., May, 2019

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)