The Snowdens have been providing grapes to premiere producers in the Napa Valley for decades, but it wasn’t until 1993 when they made wine under their family name for the first time.  Luckily for me, a friend turned me onto them and I signed up for the mailing list as an inaugural member. I’ve been a fan of their wines ever since.  They have always produced classy, balanced, elegant Cabernet and this wine, is no exception.  Originally, the winemaker was a family friend of the Snowdens,  but as propietor Scott Snowden’s daughter Diana gained her expertise, she grabbed the winemaking reins beginning with the 2007 vintage.
The 2008 Snowden Cabernet is exceptional.  The wine was decanted for 90 minutes and looks a gorgeous purple in the decanter.  The air time helped the wine as it gives off  intense aromas of plums, blackberry, leather, minerals and licorice.  In the mouth, the wine is focused; with laser like intensity to the fruit. Ripe and delicious, with flavors following the nose, but adding the complexities of leather, and dusty minerals. There’s also a slight hint of warm, clay like earth.  The tannins are manageable on the finish, so while this wine is delicious now, it would not hurt to cellar it for 1-2 years and it clearly has life well beyond that time.
The thing that always set Snowden apart for me was their unique ability to stylistically blend Napa with Europe.  The wines have always displayed the pure ripe fruit of Napa, but they also incorporate terroir, the characteristics of place where the fruit is grown that really make this estate unique.  It’s worth finding some.  93 points, about $38.
2008 Snowden Cabernet Sauvignon, “The Ranch”
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