1996 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

1996 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

99 Points Wine Spectator, 1999
99 Points Wine Advocate
99 Points Wine Spectator, 2000

Napa Valley 1996

The 1996 vintage started off with a warm spring and early bud break, but uncharacteristic rain in May caused problems with flowering and shatter, reducing the size of the crop by as much as 20-30% in some vineyards. A relatively hot summer followed, with several intense heat waves that pushed ripening ahead, but left the fruit in an uneven state of ripeness. Green harvesting, canopy management, and careful selection allowed growers to sort out the troublesome bunches, and those who meticulously worked their vineyards, as always, made the best wines. During the summer heat spikes, many vineyards suffered in the hot, dry conditions, and as harvest approached, some were pushed to pick early as sugars raced off and acids dropped.

Fortunately, a dry and mild September prolonged hang-time and allowed slow, steady, even-handed ripening, and the Indian summer conditions continued until after the harvest and into November. Those who made it through the late summer heat were able to take advantage of the fine conditions that followed, picking grapes at optimum maturity. The result is a somewhat variable vintage, with some good to very good wines that lack the stuffing to be great, and others that are excellent, with beautiful ripeness, structure, and depth.

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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