Characteristically dense, perfumed aromas of bright black cherry, blueberry and blackberry fruit, mixed with floral and forest-floor scents,


amazingly bright, vibrant and concentrated red and black cherry, plum, spice and dark chocolate flavors framed by round, ripe tannins.

Growing Conditions

2012 was a truly spectacular growing season in Napa Valley, with a warm, dry spring fostering early budbreak and trouble-free flowering and grape set. Consistently mild summer weather free of rain or unwelcome heat spikes allowed us to harvest our Dancing Bear grapes at peak maturity with a perfect balance of deeply concentrated fruit flavors, bright acidity and ripe, supple tannins.


Due to the stressed vines and small berries typical of Dancing Bear Ranch – a result of very well-drained soils – our winemaking goal is to fully capture the fruit’s intense mountain character while avoiding overly aggressive tannins. Winemaker Julianne Laks carefully monitors tannin levels in the juice and wine during fermentation and maceration. After the component lots of Dancing Bear achieve an optimal balance of fruit intensity and tannin, she drains the free run wines from their skins and ages them in French oak barrels prior to blending in the spring following the vintage. Our 2012 Dancing Bear – a blend of 95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% merlot representing six of the vineyard’s distinctive clonal selections – spent a total of 21 months aging in barrels, 54% new, prior to bottling on July 29, 2014.