2018 "Red Cap Vineyard" Cabernet (1 X 750 ML)

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The Davies family, proprietors of Schramsberg Vineyards and Davies Vineyards in Napa Valley, presents its sixth 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 valleys western Mayacamas Range, this bottling represents the Davies teams effort with Cabernet Sauvignon from the valleys 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 2018 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. The well-drained mountain soils produce smaller berries with higher skin to juice ratio, deepening the color of the wine while increasing tannins. Howell Mountain is known for powerful tannins, however our winemaking team skillfully extracts just enough to produce a wine with rounded and balanced structure. Red Caps 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.

The long growing season in 2018 revealed a vintage with concentration without being overripe. Despite a warm February, the growing season started off cooler than the past few vintages. A cool spring meant bloom lasted longer than usual, which resulted in a bountiful crop. Summer temperatures were moderate with fewer heat spikes than in recent years. Veraison started later as well, and as a result, harvest started two to three weeks later than in recent years. The resulting fruit exhibited exceptional structure with depth of flavor and noticeable brightness.

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Tasting notes

The 2018 Davies Vineyards "Red Cap Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon welcomes aromas of cranberry, brambly raspberry, and dark chocolate, intermingled with dried violet, forest floor, and sage. The palate starts with flavors of fresh red berry, Bing cherry, roasted coffee, cola spice and pine, leading to a dense center with a tangy, delicately balanced acidity.- Winemakers Sean Thompson, Jessica Koga and Hugh Davies


96 Points
Very pretty aromas of dark fruit, such as blackberries, together with chocolate, walnut and hazelnut, following through to a medium to full body with integrated, polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Really lovely focus and precision to this.- James Suckling (December 2020)
95 Points
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Cap Vineyard is, in my view, the most distinctive of the non-estate Cabernets in the range. Sage, mint, tobacco, cedar and graphite add gorgeous shades of nuance to a core of intense red/blood orange fruit. I would cellar the 2018 for at least a few years. It's a very pretty, promising wine.- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (January 2021)
93 Points
Reveals lively sweet tobacco, sweet bay leaf and bramble notes that help drive the juicy blackberry, fig and mulberry fruit flavors along. Dense and well-packed but shows good energy throughout, with savory notes making this a distinctive red for the cellar. Best from 2023 through 2035.- Wine Spectator (March 2022)