Snowden - Cabernet Franc, Melchior Kemper Vineyard, Napa (2018)
Profound aromas, beautifully layered wine with tons of nuance and complexity. Really flirts between lighter hints of rose petals, mint and bright red cherry with a riper core of cassis and black plum fruit. Hints of cedar, tobacco across a super long finish. The 2018 is a complete knockout.
100% Cabernet Franc from a single block at 800 feet; grown in Rhyolite (volcanic sand) soils; hand harvested; fermented with only native yeasts; malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, 50% new, 50% used; aged 18 months; bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Diana Snowden-Seysses is one half of the winemaking team at legendary Bourgogne producer Domaine Dujac. Her family has owned Snowden since the 1950s where she later became head winemaker. Situated on the eastern slopes of the Napa Valley, the Snowden Ranch lies just east of the Rutherford and St. Helena appellations, a few miles south of Howell Mountain on the gentler hillsides of the Vaca Mountains.
In a fairly protected pocket, Snowden's vineyards were not directly impacted by the wildfires seen elsewhere in the state, but which did serve to create a layer of smoke very far up in the atmosphere. This reduced UV rays by 30% - enabling slower and gentle ripening than normal.