Ray Isle: Napa's Mountain Cabernets

F&W Senior Wine Editor Ray Isle explains how a Napa vineyard's exposure to a mountain environment gives its Cabernets more "spine."

F&W Senior Wine Editor Ray Isle explains how a Napa vineyard's exposure to a mountain environment gives its Cabernets more "spine."

Read the transcript of this video
[MUSIC] Mountain Cabernets are kind of a separate world from Valley fore Cabernets, they tend to have great structure, greater depth to them. If you want a long aging Cabernet you look to the mountains, you look to the hillsides. That's not a universal rule, there are obviously great Cabernets that come from the flatlands that will age for years. If you get up into Spring Mountain and I've visited the [UNKNOWN] before One thing that Michael Morrison, who owns that vineyard, likes to do is take you on a hike. And what you realize is that, once you get off the valley floor, this is really rugged terrain. It is rocky, it's you clamoring over roots of these precipitous hillsides, trees kinda sticking out at an angle, rattlesnakes It is not the kind of manicure thing you expect out of Nappa Valley and that's the combination that you get of thin soils, of mountain exposure, of the altitude, of the drainage you get out of those thin soils. The struggle that the vines have to go through to live on these steep, tough vineyard sites. Produce these Cabernet that have, they have more spine, they have that kind of backbone. You think of the mountain man, the kind of Cabernet that is all muscle and goes out and shoots bears. That's another thing you consider about [INAUDIBLE] They are much more broken up and different than a [INAUDIBLE]. You have different facings, you have multiple different altitudes, and you got different soil types within. Usual vineyard. But it's broken up into about 10 or 12 parcels and they'll be picking different parcels at different times, whereas something on the valley floor you might pick the whole vineyard at the same time. [MUSIC]
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Ray Isle: Napa's Mountain Cabernets


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