2017 Mount Veeder Reserve Napa Valley
This small property of 90 acres was acquired by Michael and Arlene Bernstein in the 1960’s as a personal retreat. They chose to plant vineyards on this rugged mountain terrain of volcanic soils. The first vintage was released in 1973 with an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon. Franciscan Vineyards has since purchased the winery and property. The deep ruby color opens to enticing aromas of cassis, ripe berry, and baked cherry, with hints of cedar, rosemary and dried sage. This wine builds in complexity with layers of dark chocolate, peppercorns and hints of licorice. It possesses a wonderfully rich palate that is firm and dry, but finishes with a beautiful sweetness that is well-balanced.
This Mount Veeder Reserve is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 6% Merlot aged for 20 months in small oak barrels (100% new). The wine is sourced from vineyards at elevations between 1,000-1,600 feet. The deeply opaque appearance reveals a wine that is more Bordeaux-like in personality. In actuality, it is similar to a well-crafted St. Estephe. The bouquet oozes with ripe black fruits along with hints of anise and dried fruits. Buried in the core are macerated blackberries, graphite, crushed stones and saddle leather. The lines are well delineated in this wine as there are finely grained tannins balanced with well-developed fruit and delicate acidity.
By W Peter Hoyne