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Barnett Vineyards Rattlesnake Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP98
  • RP96
  • RP94
  • JS91
  • RP95
  • WE95
  • WE95
  • CG92
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake Hill reveals a saturated ruby/purple color and sweet fruit (rich blueberry, cassis, earth, and wild herbs).

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Dense, earthy and concentrated, with rich layers of currant, cedar, anise, mineral and sage, holding its focus and gaining depth and complexity. Has some tannins to shed. Best from 2001 through 2010.
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Barnett Vineyards

Barnett Vineyards

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Barnett Vineyards, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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Barnett Vineyards is located at the top of Spring Mountain with spectacular views of the Napa Valley 1700' below. Founded in 1983 by Fiona and Hal Barnett, this rocky mountainside is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon and the blending varietals of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 1984, the first vines were planted in terraced rows with total plantings numbering fourteen acres by 1988. The vines yield an average of less than two tons of fruit per acre resulting in rich, intense wines that have become synonymous with the Barnett name.

Spring Mountain District

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Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.

A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.

During the growing season late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.

Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

BOBRATTLEHILL_1996 Item# 133323