Friday, December 14, 2012

Two Feet of Snowden

Well, it is almost winter after all.

With the release of the most recent 2010 vintage Snowden Family wines,  I thought it would be an appropriate time to taste the wines in advance of any potential buying decisions. 

The first wine tasted was their pure estate Merlot from the previous vintage.  The 2009 Snowden Family Lost Vineyard Merlot bears all the hallmarks of the estates terroir.  It's a dark purple in the glass with violet reflections.  The nose is both a testament to old world and new, with dark plummy, tarry, and leather aromas and similar flavors carrying through on the palate. The french oak lends complexity without intrusion and the wine is balanced by crisp acidity. This is rich and well structured and one of the best domestic Merlot I've ever tasted.  The current release is the 2010, but I suspect consistent results here.  92 points. $38 and worth it.

2009 Snowden Lost Vineyard Merlot

The next wine tasted was the current release Napa Valley Cabernet.  Like it's sister Merlot, the 2010 Snowden Napa Valley "The Ranch" Cabernet is at once a sublime blend of new world ripeness and old world terroir. This ability of Snowden, to masterfully weave these two attributes into their wines, is testament to the fine winemaking skills of Diana Snowden.  The 2010 is dark, blackish purple.  The primary nose is effusive with crushed blackberry, black plums, toasted French oak, leather and mineral. In the mouth, the wine is rich and focused, with a gorgeous core of black fruits, accented with oak, smokey licorice, slight menthol and fresh leather. It's full bodied and seductive with balance from start to finish and wonderful acidity to clear the palate.  This is one of the best values in Napa Valley Cabernet, period.  I'm a buyer. 94 points, about $40.

2010 Snowden Cabernet Sauvignon - "The Ranch"

And so....


  1. John, I haven't seen this, but if I do, I'm a buyer too!

    1. Dennis,

      When I first started following Snowden, and I'm an inaugural mailing list member, that was the only way to get their wines. Be it economy, improvement, expansion of permits or a combination of all, their wines have entered the normal three tier distribution. At least their two Cabs have. I will check with them to find out who distributes their wine in NH and ping you.