2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Mount Veeder (Napa)
Random Act of Wineness
Today’s Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is delicious, elegant - and VERY highly recommended!
For the last six plus years, we have had the distinct honor to have featured Random Ridge wines, made with love, care and quixotic zeal by winemaker, Bill Hawley.
With under 100 cases produced, today’s 2008 Random Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon hails from Bill Hawley’s own Mt. Veeder vineyard, high above the Napa Valley. Mt. Veeder, located on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas range has a climate that is cooler than the valley floor below. This climate and the more difficult (less fertile) volcanic mountain soil influence the flavors of today’s wine, giving it exceptional character and elegance.
Our tasting panel was absolutely blown away by this wine and every one of us will be picking some up for our own private cellars.
Slightly opaque at the core of the wine with dark garnet hues, transitioning to finer ruby at the edge of the glass. The wine settles quickly after a good swirl, giving clues that the weight of the wine on the palate.
Dark blackberry and dried tobacco leaf out in front, the wine then exudes bold plum, black cherry, dark leather, late summer forest floor with dried leaves and conifer needles.
Juicy, bold, plush and deeeeeelicious, with lively blackberry, cherry juice, cassis, that yield to dark wild strawberry, blueberry reduction and a hint of dark spice. At the end the wine takes on an added dimension with hazelnut and subtle eucalyptus.
Very elegant and lovely with voluptuous fruit and plush tannins. Fruit flavors go on forever, gradually unpacking complex but subtle notes of hazelnut and eucalyptus at the very end.
A filet mignon with a fresh garlic, salt and fresh pepper would be the perfect meal for this very elegant and very tasty wine.
What the Winery Says
Late Spring frost & a protracted bloom period led to a record lean harvest of light loose clusters of small perfectly ripe small berries. The wine is a dark & concentrated elixir & a true expression of a special spot on earth. Redolent in cherry & red currant brambly garrique & cedar licorice & spice fleshy sensual ethereal & hedonistic good to go now but proper cellaring will reward.
- 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc
- Total Acidity
- 18 days
- 2 years
- 30 years old, dense planting/cane pruned vsp, meticulous sustainable farming
About the Winery
Random Ridge produces fine wines from vineyards pioneered by the Hawley family in the Mayacamas mountains of Napa County, California. We produce wines in very limited quantities from vines meticulously maintained to reflect the essence of the soils in which they grow. We are farmers first but will surf anytime anywhere. Our dedication in the vineyards naturally segues into traditional winemaking practices in the cellar. We strive to enable the fruit to develop its inherent Buddha nature to become wine of complexity harmony & passion.
The vineyard’s intense fruit yields a limited production of exceptional wines that are spicy, extracted, and rich. As Bill Hawley says, they are “wines with alti-dude.”
Winemaker/poet/surfer Bill Hawley
Bill began to pioneer Random Ridge in 1980. At the end of a remote fire road at 2400 feet on California’s stunning Mount Veeder, he built a house for his young family with recycled lumber. The next year he cleared and planted a 10-acre vineyard right on the Napa-Sonoma County ridgeline. Today from the home and vineyard the views of Mount Tamalpais and the San Francisco Bay still dazzle the southern horizon and the sun sets over Sonoma Mountain.
From 1982 to 1988, Bill was employed at Carmenet Vineyard as vineyard manager, mentored by the late great Dick Graff. “…as part of my continuing education, Dick arranged for me to travel to Burgundy and Bordeaux for a month in 1986, visiting cutting-edge producers that shaped my wine aesthetic. Then in 1988 Susan and I traveled to New Zealand and I attended the Cool Climate Viticulture Conference, another mind-blowing trip.”
Bill credits his Chalone experience with introducing him to many winemakers that remain great friends.