- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Howell Mountain)
- Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Vintage production: 416 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2006
- Drinking window: 2018-2040
About The Wine:
The incredibly rocky, rhyolitic soils of this Howell Mountain site provide fruit with structure and depth, yet the cool climate produces a wine of restraint and vibrant acidity. An underlying minerality gives the wine a particularly distinctive character and provides another layer of complexity. The appellation has become a favorite of collectors who value the ageworthy capacity of wines from this elevation.
The winter and early spring brought ample rainfall to the Napa Valley. A dry April was followed by one of the wettest May’s on record, providing much needed hydration. The moist soils meant the vines had access to nutrients, especially potassium, resulting in full canopies and softer acidity in the wine. The cooler weather through mid-summer slowed shoot growth and delayed verasion by a few weeks.
In mid-August the season heated up with 90+F temperatures that continued through the end of September. This allowed the vines to mature with sugar and color accumulation after the cool wet start to the season. A perfect October allowed the fruit to ripen to optimal maturity without the threat of rain or heat spikes. The 2019 wines reflect the vintage with opulent fruit, silky tannins, and a savory structured finish.
Harvest began for Cabernet Sauvignon on October 9th with SEE Clone from the 2008 plantings. The older vines were picked 9 and 12 days later in the third week of October. The fruit was fermented by native yeast in stainless steel and wood tanks. It macerated on skins for 21 and 26 days. A portion was fermented in barrels for 29 days before the free-run juice was drained directly to barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. The individual lots were blended in the spring following the harvest and then aged in 225- and 500-liter barrels without racking until bottling.
Dana Estates Hershey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
"Hershey vineyard on Howell Mountain is 26 acres in total, 18 of which were planted in 2008. It is planted to just about all aspects imaginable, so it’s quite a varied site, although the Dana Hershey label comes mainly from just four blocks. This barrel sample of the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Hershey Vineyard is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (clones See and 191) and is due to be aged for 25 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it slowly emerges from the glass with notes of crushed rocks, graphite and mossy tree bark with a core of redcurrant jelly, wild blueberries and Black Forest cake plus a profoundly pure undercurrent of cassis. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is impeccably crafted with super-fine tannins and loads of earthy layers, lifted by amazing freshness, finishing long and perfumed."
97-99 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Mar. 2021)