Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch – 2018



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 from the Pool Block, the lowest estate vineyard at 650 feet with a West exposure
  • Cabernet from the Lost Orchard Vineyard at the top of the property at 850 feet, coolest black on property
  • Soils: Ryolite (volcanic sands)
  • Vines Planted: 1997
  • Clone 8 on 110R rootstock
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
  • Pool Block and Lost Orchard hand harvested September 24th & 30th
  • Natural, wild yeast fermentation
  • Fermented dry
  • Aged 18 months in French oak, 50% new
  • Bottled unfined & unfiltered April 13, 2020
Winemaker's Notes

The first year our Ranch blend is comprised 100% of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 is made from fruit grown in the Pool Block, our lowest site, and the Lost Orchard Vineyard on the top of the property. It greets you with aromas of tobacco and crushed blackberries. On the palate it is poised and fresh. Flavors of black fruit are buttressed by orange rind and warm tannins. Produced entirely from estate grown fruit, we want The Ranch to be an approachable wine in a classic Bordeaux style.

Wine Summary

100% Cabernet Sauvignon; alcohol: 14.1%; soils: rhyolite (volcanic sands); fruit from Pool Block, 650 ft altitude and Lost Vineyard, 850 ft. altitude; vines planted 1997; hand harvested 9/24 & 9/30/2018; indigenous yeast only; fermented dry; aged 18 months in 50% new, 50% neutral French oak barrels; bottled unfined and unfiltered on 4/13/2020.

Technical Information
  • 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Alcohol: 14.1%


(90 - 93) Points

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch shows just how compelling this vintage is. Dark and resonant in the glass, but also medium in body, the 2018 is so precise and nuanced. Red cherry, cedar, tobacco and mint add lovely aromatic top notes to this mid-weight yet rich Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2018 finishes with grippy tannins and tons of energy.

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, January, 2020

93 Points

Fresh and focused, with a well-built core of red currant, plum and black cherry preserves supported by a loamy spine, with tobacco and singed alder lining the finish. Best from 2022 through 2035.

Wine Spectator, August, 2021

92 Points

Fruity nose of brambleberries, blackcurrants, plum leaves, chocolate orange and pine needles. Medium-to full-bodied with sleek tannins and fresh acidity. Juicy and vibrant. Drink after 2022., November, 2021

90 Points

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch, the entry-level Cabernet in this range, is a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. Spice, tobacco, new leather and cedar give this soft, open-knit Cabernet lovely aromatic nuance and character. 2022 – 2030

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)