Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
In 2018 climatic conditions were perfect up on Spring Mountain. This Cabernet is evidence of that. Fresh blackberry, anise and mocha are the first things apparent on the nose followed by cola, acai berry and menthol. This is a silky lush wine with layers of dark chocolate, cedar and freshly ground coffee. The tannins are chiefly present, being round pleasing chalky tannins with firm mountain acid balancing them out. The finish is chocolate covered plum. This powerhouse Cabernet is already showing well and will develop even more complexity over the next 10-12 years.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
An intense, ripe red with notes of blackberries, blueberries, licorice and wet earth. Baking soda and some menthol, too. Full-bodied with bright acidity, chewy tannins and a fruity finish. Needs time to come together. Try after 2023.
8% Petit Verdot; 4% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc. Far from simple and sweet but possessing lots of the juicy fruit of the vintage, Barnett’s is a full, very well-defined young Cabernet Sauvignon that, while continuous and neatly structured, is already decidedly appealing. Its generous compliment of cassis and ripe berries is graced with a careful dollop of oak and a bit of loamy richness, and it sports a fine backbone of integral tannin for age without being the least bit tough or unruly. Although bound to tempt early drinking, it is nonetheless a wine that is sure to reward patience with increased complexity and, however easy to like it may be in the shorter term, is most definitely worth cellaring for another five or six years.
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.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.