Mt. Brave Vineyard sits high atop Mt. Veeder at an elevation of 1,400 to 1,800 feet. The estate, on the western flank of Napa Valley,
is named for the native Wappos who first called it home. Mt. Veeder has been planted to wine grapes since the early 1860s by such
winemaking pioneers as Charles Krug, Agoston Haraszthy, Frederick Hess and William S. Keyes, and wines from Mt. Veeder
achieved recognition as early as the Paris Exposition of 1900. The parcel that became Mt. Brave Vineyard, in the northern reaches
of the Mt. Veeder American Viticultural Area (AVA), was originally purchased in 1841—before the Gold Rush and the Civil War.
High-elevation winegrowing requires a painstaking, labor-intensive approach. Thin, rocky soils and steep slopes make water
retention a challenge and erosion a threat, but the vines’ beneficial struggle produces tiny berries with unusually concentrated
flavors. The high altitude keeps midday temperatures cooler than those in the valley below, while the position above the fog
line gives grapes longer daily exposure to sunlight. This regularly extends the growing season into November, and the increased
hang-time results in peak ripeness and full varietal complexity.
We hand-harvested grapes into lug boxes during cool morning hours, at an average Brix of 26.5°. The wine fermented in
stainless steel and then underwent native malolactic fermentation in barrels to round acidity and softly integrate the vanillin
character of French oak (80% new). After barrel aging for 19 months, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
The 2013 growing season was another near perfect year. With only a day or two approaching 100 degrees, temperatures were steady
and in the sweet spot of 85°-95F°. Dry conditions throughout allowed for ideal maturation and flavor concentration. The 2013 Mt.
Brave Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits typical Mount Veeder cabernet characteristics of blueberry, with floral notes and minerality.
Followed by a bit of raspberry and touch of herb, this wine has great texture and very approachable mountain tannins.
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley, USA
96 Points - Gary Walsh
"Chocolate, crystallized violet, black fruit, mocha. Full-bodied, deep, mineral feel, all graphite and earth, a carpet of suede tannin, freshness, intensity and palate saturating fruit. Amazing. Not unapproachable now, either."