Winter Release Ballard Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2019

Winemaker’s Notes

In my twenty-seven vintage winegrowing career, Ballard Vineyard is one of the most unique, most characterful and one of my favorite vineyards that I’ve worked with. Sadly, some good things must come to an end, and this will be our final bottling from this special place. The owners, now retired, have leased the property to a Napa winery. 

Working with this vineyard from 2014-2019, we’ve had a great, albeit abbreviated, run and our collaborative work here culminates with this powerful, deep expression of this magical place – “the vineyard in a forest clearing.” 

What I’ve loved about this site is the strong forthright vineyard signature that is wholly evocative of the place itself. And true to form, in this final vintage we have the aromas and flavors of the pine forest, of bay trees and chaparral, present in full force. There’s a darkness of fruit and a complex soil and air tone in the wine that elevates it above simple fruity Cabernet. Luckily, this bottling will live as long in the bottle as in the memory – it's a 20+ year cellar-worthy prospect. 

Wild sage, menthol and rose hip present themselves dramatically. Red plum, black cherry and black raspberry fruit builds a sense of magnificent dark power. Tightly wound initially, with patience the wine relaxes in the glass to reveal density and concentration – cassis, cedar, and dried herbs flow. A hint of iodine adds complexity to the deep velvety texture. There’s lovely poise and freshness direct from the mountain air. The finish is long, focused and full of mineral tension. Decant for an hour in its youth and drink between mid-2022 and 2040.

Andy Smith


Ballard Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  - DuMOL

Vineyard

Harvest Date

October 14th

Appellation

Spring Mountain District - Napa Valley

Clones

4 & 337

Age of Vines at Harvest

17 years

Barrel Aging

20 months in 60% new French oak barrels from Tonnellerie Sylvain

Production

192 cases of 750mL
4 cases of 1.5L
4 bottles of 3L