HISTORY: Mt. Brave Vineyard sits high atop Mt. Veeder at an elevation of 1,400 to 1,800 feet. The estate, on the western flank of Napa Valley, is named for the native Wappo tribe who first called it home. Mt. Veeder has been planted to wine grapes since the early 1860s by such winemaking pioneers as Charles Krug, Agoston Haraszthy, Frederick Hess and William S. Keyes, and wines from Mt. Veeder achieved recognition as early as the Paris Exposition of 1900. The parcel that became Mt. Brave Vineyard, in the northern reaches of the Mt. Veeder American Viticultural Area (AVA), was originally purchased in 1841—before the Gold Rush and the Civil War.
VINEYARD: High-elevation winegrowing requires a painstaking, labor-intensive approach. Thin, rocky soils and steep slopes make water retention a challenge and erosion a threat, but the vines’ beneficial struggle produces tiny berries with unusually concentrated flavors. The high altitude keeps midday temperatures cooler than those in the valley below, while the position above the fog line gives grapes longer daily exposure to sunlight. This regularly extends the growing season into November, and the increased hang-time results in peak ripeness and full varietal complexity.
WINEMAKING: We hand-harvested grapes into lug boxes during cool morning hours, at an average Brix of 26.5°. The wine fermented in stainless steel and then underwent native malolactic fermentation in barrels to round acidity and softly integrate the vanillin character of French oak.
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: The 2012 growing season was near perfect, with ideal spring budbreak and warm, steady days balanced by cool nights. The steady weather continued into the fall, resulting in optimal ripening conditions at harvest. Our 2012 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon opens with notes of blueberry, rose petals and violets, which are balanced by a cleansing minerality and silky tannins.
92+ Points - “Powerful and ample in the glass, the 2012 possesses remarkable intensity. Big, chewy tannins support the ample finish.” - Antonio Galloni, December 14, 2014
92 Points - “The star of the Mt Brave trio of new releases is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. . . . Blueberry, licorice, beef blood, tobacco leaf and forest floor aromas soar from the glass of this ripe, full-bodied, opulent wine.” - Robert M. Parker Jr, October 14, 2014