1997 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

1997 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

99 Points Wine Spectator, 2000
99 Points Wine Spectator, 2000
98 Points Wine Advocate

Napa Valley 1997

The 1997 vintage was one that had Napa growers smiling from ear to ear. They brought in a large crop of excellent quality, with 144,000 tons harvested compared to an average of 121,000 tons over the preceding decade. The optimum growing conditions over the summer and through the harvest produced wines that are superbly concentrated, dense, rich, and powerful yet balanced.

The growing season got off to an early start with bud break coming a month early in the warm late-winter and spring conditions. The vines seemed to shrug off a little rain that fell in early June. The summer was warm but not too hot, with one heat spike in early August, followed by moderate to cool temperatures, to slow ripening. September conditions were excellent — the grapes had a long period of ripening without any heat spikes, allowing growers to wait to pick at optimum ripeness. It is one of the greatest vintages of the decade, with wines that are firmly in their prime today. They have incredible extract, depth, and structure, with solid, dense fruit centers to match.

Key Dates

February
Early bud break, due to dry spring

June
Unexpected rain had little to no effect

May
Flowering

About Bryant Family Vineyard

Producer Facts

Winery Name

Bryant Family Vineyard

Web Site

http://www.bryantwines.com/

Ownership/Management

Don and Bettina Bryant

Area Under Vine: 13 Acres

Wines Made: Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Bettina Bryant Proprietary Red Wine, Bryant Family Vineyard DB4

Terroir: The vineyard is on a volcanic ridge line that ends where they are located, and resurfaces on the other side of the lake and then runs all the way to Mount Saint Helena. The base soils are Sobrante loam series, but vary widely, with the changes in the vineyard identified mostly by the degree of slope and relative position on the ridge. The magma that forms the ridge cooled at various rates, with the surface cooling quicker and forming more friable rocks with gas trapped inside. The deeper magma cooled slower and is harder and more basalt, andesitic and rhyolitic in nature. These variations result in differences in the vineyard, with the north side composed of larger rocks, the opposite side composed of finer, deeper soils, though still well drained. Those on the rockier soils have very little root zone and get irrigated, others are dry farmed.

About Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon Facts

Flavor Profile

Full, tannic wines with notes of blackcurrant and cassis

Food Pairings

Grilled red meats, stews, hard or rich cheeses

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