About Cakebread 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dancing Bear Ranch, Howell Mt., Napa Valley
Dancing Bear Ranch on Howell Mountain in eastern Napa Valley, perched at an elevation between 1,800 and 2,200 feet, is named for the omnivorous black bear who likes to feast on the mountain grapes as they approach ripeness. Fortunately, as the bear dances down the vine rows munching grape clusters, he leaves enough behind to craft this classic Napa Valley mountain red.
Jeb Dunnuck scored this 97 points saying "The top Cabernet is the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch, which comes all from the Howell Mountain AVA. It's another inky colored beauty boasting a terrific perfume of black and blue fruits, ground herbs, spice box, graphite, and forest floor. With brilliant minerality on the palate as well as full-bodied richness and an expansive, opulent texture, it has sweet tannins and is approachable today, yet will benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for 25-30 years. It's one of the few 2017s to come close to its 2016 counterpart. Bravo!"
The Wine Advocate scored this 95 points saying "Bottled only three weeks ago, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch is composed of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot, having spent 22 months in 60% new French oak. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it reveals beautiful notions of kirsch, red and black currant preserves, raspberry pie and warm plums with hints of red roses, stewed tea, underbrush and cinnamon stick. Medium-bodied, the palate has wonderful red fruit and floral intensity intermingled with black fruits, framed by firm, grainy tannins and a wicked backbone of freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. Very different from the epic 2016 Dancing Bear, but very exciting!"