Mounts Family Winery
2007 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Mounts Estate Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
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Mission Codename: Power and Glory in the DCV
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate the Mounts Family winery, and procure their newest estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon for our demanding Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Mounts Family Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: David Mounts
Today’s Cabernet Sauvignon comes to us from one of Sonoma County’s most experienced winemaking families. Grown in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, today’s wine is a delicious and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report, below, for the the complete details on today’s wine
Today’s Cabernet Sauvignon hails from the Mounts Vineyard is Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. The Dry Creek Valley across the Russian River from Alexander Valley has a generally cooler and wetter climate which makes the growing season longer and more flexible than neighboring appellations.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Gorgeous Burgundy in color, with perfect clarity through its darkening core. When swirled, the wine appears soft and bouncy. When it settles, it leaves behind skinny, wine-hued legs that move slowly down the glass.
Smell – Bold intensity, complex with big berry flavors of blackberry, blueberry and dark raspberry. These are accompanied by earthy mixed blackfruit jam, candied red cherry, soft black spices, dark minerals and a hint of black pepper.
Feel – Soft and clean on entry, very light-weight. After a moment in the mouth, the wine becomes increasingly softly grippy. Eventually, plus tannins provide a lush overall feel, adding dryness into the long finish.
Taste – Very flavorful and very delicious, with ripe berry and stonefruit flavors from the nose. Add to these (mentioned, above, in ‘Smell’), flavors of soft sweetwoods, plum compote, braised black figs, black pepper and a flinty mineral component.
Finish – Ultra long and very flavor-filled, with lingering berry, plum, soft anise, a hint of black pepper and flint.
Conclusion – This wine is fantastic, and it shows so much promise for aging, as well. We’ll be enjoying a few bottles this year, but also saving a few bottles for the next several years. We are always impressed with Mounts’ wines, and this wine delivers everything we have come to expect from our friends, David and Lana Mounts, whose family has been farming in the Dry Creek Valley almost longer than any other. We are not the only ones that are crazy about their farming prowess; Numerous other prominent wineries source their fruit from the family’s vineyards. Today’s wine is a deep and delicious wine that is packed full of flavor and deep aromatics, delivering an exceptional experience for the senses. Pair this flexible wine with heartier fare, like items from your late summer BBQ. Just be sure to save a few bottles for the Holiday’s – and beyond – as this wine has real aging potential.
What follows is a recap of our initial mission to Mounts Family Winery, wherein we refer to a Mounts Zinfandel, featured last year. While that was an excellent wine, we like today’s 91-point Cabernet Sauvignon even better
It was a warm and beautiful morning. The temperature was close to 70 degrees and the sky was a perfect clear blue. It was a typical spring morning in the Dry Creek Valley. If only it was Spring! It was, in fact, the beginning of January where, even here in California, we should be experiencing cooler temps – and our share of vine-sustaining rains!
Agent Syrah was with me on another training mission. For this one, he led the mission to Mounts Family Winery. I had given Agent Syrah the directive of locating a superb California Zinfandel. I gave him free reign, allowing him to choose the region and winery.
Almost immediately, he came up with a winery.
“What do you have,” I asked.
“Mounts. 06. Estate Zin. DCV. Intel suggests a classic DCV, ripe, lush, balanced. 400 cases.”
“Very good. Next steps?”
“I would suggest a direct infiltration. No extended surveillance. Proceed immediately.”
With that, we made our way to mounts.
After a drive through the beautiful Dry Creek Valley, we found ourselves at the bottom of a long uphill driveway. the drive led through pristine hillside vineyards, eventually leading us to the winery at the crest of the hill.
As we parked, a woman approached. Agent Syrah said, “Lana Mounts. General Manager and wife of David Mounts, the winemaker.”
If I was not already impressed, I was now. Agent Syrah was shaping up to be a fine Wine Spy.
Agent Syrah took command, introducing Lana to me as though he already knew her, and I was someone she needed to know. He cut right to the chase, explaining that we had been investigating her winery – and that we were here to evaluate and – if we loved their wines – appropriate Mounts Family wines for our Operatives.
Lana took us to here wine cave and we were soon joined by her husband, David Mounts. We tasted through their wines and we were very impressed. I gave Agent Syrah the signal and he quickly negotiated for a quantity of today’s excellent Mounts Family Estate Zinfandel.
If you ever find yourself in the Dry Creek Valley, stop in to Mounts for a tasting. The vineyards are beautiful, the people a pleasure to hang out with – and the wines are really wonderful.
Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for Agent Syrah’s future missions. I have a feeling that this young spy is destined for greatness.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Mounts Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Wine Spies Exclusive Intel:
An undercover source just revealed to us that Wine Enthusiast Magazine, September 2010 issue, will award today’s 2007 Mounts Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with a fantastic 91 Point rating! They say, “Shows a distinguished structure & mouthfeel proving Dry Creek Cabs are really moving forward.”
About This Wine:
The 2007 vintage was an excellent year in the vineyard and in the cellar. The spring began warm in the month of February and stayed moderate the remainder of the season.
Over the last several years our Cabernet Sauvignon vines have begun to drop off in production with yields of less than two tons per acre. Minimal irrigation throughout the season allowed for great fruit separation and thick skin development. Maturity was pushed well beyond the zone of green flavors to rich dark fruit and intense spice.
Our lower block of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 1990 on a split canopy system on alluvial rocky loam soil. This block tends to give us more structure and depth of tannin with an intense minerality in the aromatics. Our upper ridge block of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 1987 and is situated on some shallow red volcanic soil with quite a bit of river rock deposits running through it. This block hung out late in the season and developed an incredible bouquet of floral aromatics.
It maintained a beam of acidity that uplifted the final blend of these two blocks. In the winery, the two block lots were fermented separately and manual punchdowns were done 3 times each day for gentle berry maceration. The lower block lot went through an extended maceration period of two weeks, this helped to round out the big tannin structure. The upper block lot was pressed near dry to preserve its fresh aromatic structure. Once primary fermentation was complete, the free-run juice was pumped out and the remaining skins were gently pressed out in a basket press. After settlement, they were barreled down for 20 months in 50% new French oak. They were racked once in the spring of 2008 and the two block lots were blended together with the addition of 4% Merlot and 2 % Malbec for added complexity. It was bottled one year later, unfined and unfiltered. – David Mounts, Winemaker/Grower
About The Winery:
Quality through sacrifice is our priority at Mounts Vineyards. With this philosophy of excellence passing through three generations of wine-grape growers, it is our aspiration to extend it to our new family winery. We are excited to announce the arrival of Mounts Family Winery, opening in the Spring of 2007.
Mounts Vineyards has been growing premium wine grapes for over 50 years in the Dry Creek Valley. Every block design brings together the unique orientation of hillside exposure, soil type, and depth. With each of these factors we determine our variety, the appropriate clone, and the most favorable root-stock. The careful planning and consideration that goes into developing our vineyards allows the vine to grow to its full potential for vine health and balanced canopy growth. From them, we achieve the greatest possible expression of fruit character, balance, and structure in all of our wines.
Our hope is that you will appreciate the wines we have nurtured from our estate vineyards. We anticipate you will take pleasure in every sip, share them with your friends and family, and savor memories that our wines help create.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Mounts Estate Vineyards
Vineyard: Cordon-trained, spur-pruned vines, one block planted in 1987 the other in 1990. ‘See’ clone X
Harvest Date: September 25 & October 5, 2007
Average Brix: 27.0 average
Cases Produced: 300 cases
Release Date: Fall 2009