2017 Red Cap Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (1 X 750 ML)

The Davies family, proprietors of Schramsberg Vineyards and Davies Vineyards in Napa Valley, presents its fifth bottling of the Red Cap Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Howell Mountain District. Building upon its experience with its home property on Diamond Mountain in the valley's western Mayacamas Range, this bottling represents the Davies team's effort with Cabernet Sauvignon from the valley's eastern Vaca Range. Second-generation Vintner Hugh Davies, Director of Winemaking Sean Thompson and Consultant Celia Welch have collaborated well together since 2008 in crafting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, and they are very proud to present this unique vineyard-designate bottling from the 2017 vintage.

Red Cap Vineyard, planted in 2003 and farmed biodynamically by the Altemus family, is located near the summit of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 1,900 feet. At this location, the Aiken loam and red rocky volcanic soils provide great root support and drainage. These well-draining mountain soils produce smaller berries with higher skin to juice ratio, deepening the color of the wine while increasing tannins, leading to wines with rounded and balanced structure. Red Cap's position above the fog line has a broad temperature range throughout the day. When compared to the valley floor, evening temperatures are warmer and daytime temperatures are cooler, which supports greater acid retention within the grapes. This combination of soil and environmental conditions leads to an extraordinary site for growing delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.

For the 2017 vintage, abundant winter rains prior to the growing season helped recharge reservoirs and groundwater. Spring weather was cool to mild, with increased vine vigor and extended flowering in some areas. Over Labor Day weekend, high temperatures kicked harvest into high gear until mid-September, when cooler weather arrived giving red varieties extra hang time.

Tasting notes

The 2017 Red Cap Cabernet exhibits aromas of red raspberry and milk chocolate, combined with sage, vanilla, and mocha. Flavors of Santa Rosa plum, and red currant mingle with tangy acidity and integrated tannins leading to a lengthy finish.- Winemakers Sean Thompson, Celia Welch and Hugh Davies

Reviews

92 Points
This red is suave and alluring, with a seductive feel atypical for Howell Mountain, as the plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit is gently mulled, guided by perfumy black tea, incense and warm anise notes. A singed mesquite note curls around everything on the finish. Drink now through 2032.- Wine Spectator (September 2020)
92 Points
Our pick of its makers very attractive bunch, just as it was in 2016, the Davies Red Cap Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon scores again for its combination of layered richness, depth and refinement. It is a beautifully balanced offering whose very precise, blackcurrant fruit is sweetened by just the right measure of sympathetic oak, and its near-silky tannins could not be any better integrated than they are. It has size and sophistication and will age and age, and we would urge those lucky enough to lay a few bottles away to forego pulling its cork until no fewer than five years have passed, better yet ten.- Connoisseurs' Guide (August 2020)
90+ Points
From a warmer site on Howell Mountain, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Cap Vineyard has plenty of mountain fruit tannins and structure as well as medium to full body, lots of black and blue fruits, and complex notes of forest floor, violets, and sappy flowers. Made from 100% Cabernet brought up in 50% new French oak, its another well-made, outstanding even, wine from winemaker Jessica Koga and consultant Celia Welch.- Jeb Dunnuck (January 2020)