entices with perfumed aromas of ripe black fruits, forest-floor spice, and rich fig and chocolate tones.
On the beautifully structured palate, the wine delivers intensely concentrated blackberry, black currant, wild cherry and ripe fig flavors balanced by firm acidity and round, silky tannins.
In 2006, a wet spring delayed budbreak and set back vine growth through June. A hot spell in mid-July quickened vine development and sugar accumulation, but August brought a return to cooler temperatures, which persisted through the balance of the growing season. This mild, classic late-summer and early-fall weather pattern allowed for slow, even ripening of our Dancing Bear Ranch grapes, which were harvested between September 30th and October 2nd
The terroir of our Howell Mountain estate vineyard produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes with deep color, bright acidity and full tannic flavor. As a result, our winemaking goal is to capture Dancing Bear Ranch’s intense fruit character without extracting overly aggressive tannins. During fermentation and maceration, winemaker Julianne Laks carefully monitors the ‘cap’ of skins at the top of the fermenting tank, whose contact with the juice determines the degree of tannin extraction. When she believes the wine has achieved an optimal balance of fruit intensity and ripe tannins, the free run wine is drained from the skins and transferred to French oak for aging. The 2006 Dancing Bear Ranch was aged for a total of 26 months in barrel, 60% new, before being bottled in February 2009.