Dum Spiro Spero – 2020



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.


90 Points

Juicy and focused, with a bramble and licorice edge to the core of plum and cherry preserves. Offers modest toast that lets the fruit play out, with a tobacco hint on the friendly finish. Drink now through 2030.

Wine Spectator, June, 2023
91 Points

The 2020 Dum Spiro Spero is named for the Latin saying in the Snowden family crest, which translates to ‘While I breathe, I hope.’ Indeed, I hope you let this breathe a bit in the glass, for it is power-packed, muscular, and needs a bit of air to unlock its savoury wild herbs, tobacco, and liquorice-laced black fruits and kalamata olive notes. Full-bodied and shows the warmth of the vintage through saturated black fruit notes tinged with crushed coffee and toffee bean notes—elegant cedar and sandalwood notes cap off broad-shouldered tannins and soft acidity through a red berry-laden finish.  2023 – 2035

Decanter, April, 2023
93 Points

This wine was of course made during the terrible season of wildfires that plagued much California and Oregon wine country. The wine has turned out beautifully, coming in at 14.5 percent alcohol and offering up a pure and nicely black fruity nose of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, lovely soil tones, a touch of menthol, dried eucalyptus and a discreet framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and ripely tannic, with a fine core, excellent soil undertow, firm, chewy tannins, lovely focus and balance and a very long, pure finish. This is going to be outstanding wine in the fullness of time, but will need some time to hibernate in the cellar before it is ready to drink. 2036 – 2085

View From The Cellar, November, 2023
16.5 Points

Bright mid crimson. Clean and energetic. Even sinewy and certainly more transparent than most Napa Cabs. 2023 – 2027, October, 2023
93 Points

The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Dum Spiro Spero is the only wine Snowden made in 2020. It’s an impressive showing for the year. Black cherry, chocolate, leather, licorice and espresso are amplified. In 2020, Diana Snowden Seysses picked a bit riper than she would have otherwise, something that was imposed by the challenges of the year. This is a very fine 2020. 2023 – 2030

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, December, 2023