- Producer: Barnett Vineyards - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: David Tate
- Region (AVA): Napa Valley (Spring Mountain District)
- Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Vintage production: 69 barrels
- Winery location: Spring Mountain District
- First vintage: 1991
- Drinking window: 2016-2036
About The Wine:
Rattlesnake hill is a small rocky knoll on the estate, located at 2050 ft elevation on Spring Mountain. The hills position allows optimal sun exposure while being above the fog line. Since the inception of this wine in 1991 Barnett has sought out only the very best of their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon on Spring Mountain to complement its complexity. They work diligently in the vineyard and the winery on keeping all of the small lots separated. They then examine these lots for the complexity, intensity and power to match the hill. Only these small estate lots that are deserving come together to form the proprietary top tier, Rattlesnake.
The 2014 vintage atop Spring Mountain was the third in a string of three great vintages. There was not much of a winter, with far below average rainfall. A moderate spring lead into a record breaking summer for high temperatures. However the diurnal effect from our mountain top allowed for very cool nights aiding the vine in slowing down any rapid ripening of the fruit.
The small estate lots when harvested were cold soaked for 2-3 days and fermented in small bins and tanks; punched down or pumped over 2 to 3 times a day. The maceration times were 13 to 23 days, a little longer than previous years, due to the need to extract the right level of tannin from the heat loosened skins. Once fermentation was complete the wine was pressed off into 90% new French oak barrels for aging. The wine has been racked four times during its near two year maturation time in the cellar.
Barnett Vineyards Rattlesnake Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake is their reserve wine and has been called this since 1991, no doubt because of the number of rattlesnakes that populated the property. It is usually their greatest wine, when they declare it. They only made 69 barrels in 2014, so this is a tough one to find. The color is opaque ruby/purple and the wine has a few extra gears in it, with plenty of blueberry, cassis, forest floor and white flowers, followed by a full-bodied, beautifully built style of wine. This wine goes on and on – it is incredible rich, but with no defects or hard edges. A full-bodied, lush, elegant, yet powerful wine, this is a classic Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 20+ years."
95+ points, Robert Parker