2005 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Napa Valley

2005 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Napa Valley

2005 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Napa Valley

93 pts
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Napa Valley

The 2005 vintage in Napa was one of the best of the decade, with balanced, lovely wines with plenty of depth, richness, and concentration, all balanced by lovely fresh acidity and detail. Classic, structured, and deep, they should age well for decades.

A wet winter was followed in March by a dry, mild spell, then a wet, rainy period that delayed bloom and fruit set. Rains continued into April, May, and even into June. Some parts of Napa Valley had more than 15 inches of rain after bud break, creating problems for growers. Vineyard management costs skyrocketed as the moisture spurred weed growth, and powdery mildew was a big problem.

Summer was moderate, without any real extremes of heat. The cool temperatures and foggy mornings kept ripening moving slowly, and there was some concern with sugar levels and overall ripeness as the harvest began to approach. September arrived with beautiful, warm, sunny days — and an Indian summer allowed winemakers to wait as sugar accumulated at an even pace, while keeping the grapes balanced with good acidity. It was a very late vintage and a very large crop as well, beating out the previous record set in 1997. Many didn’t finish picking until late October and even into November, but the long hang-time was beneficial and the weather held for the most part.

The resulting wines are seamless, elegant yet structured and deep, with lovely well-knit fruit and tannins. They may not have the power and ripe, plush notes of some of the other top vintages of the decade — rather, they will be known for their beautiful balance and focus. The best should age gracefully for decades to come.

Key Dates

Additional 5 inches of rain falls

Harvest for sparkling wine began on schedule

Weather was mild throughout the month, with no heat spikes of any consequence

Harvest for still wine didn’t begin in earnest until October, because of mild September weather. The main Cabernet Sauvignon harvest began in the middle of October and continued until the middle of November

A few inches over the average amount of rain

About Bryant Family Vineyard

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Producer Facts

Winery Name

  • Bryant Family Vineyard

Web Site

  • http://www.bryantwines.com/


  • 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

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Flavor Profile

  • Full, tannic wines with notes of blackcurrant and cassis

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