When the perfect climate and exquisite growing conditions, fantastic mountain terroir and a legendary winemaker come together, magic happens!
Among the tight-knit winegrowing community in the Napa Valley, no one understands the practical difficulties and spiritual rewards of mountain winegrowing more than Chris Carpenter. With an already legendary Napa winemaking record for Lokoya and Cardinale, Chris had little to prove when the Mt. Brave project began to evolve in 2007. And yet, the opportunity to craft wines from Mt. Veeder that would pay homage to the mountain’s rich history, while expressing a new, distinguished view, proved irresistible.
Winegrowing on the Mt. Brave vineyard is not for the timid. The usual practices must be forgotten at high elevations, where thin soils barely hold water, and rocky terrain challenges both rootstock and man. Winter rains must be captured, and erosion prevented. During harvest, small lug boxes must be carefully moved up and down steep slopes to protect both vines and vineyard workers. The work is hard and labor-intensive. Little mechanized modern technology is found here.
The wines of Mt. Brave show the characteristic brambly aromas and blue fruit flavors that are common to Mt. Veeder but are expressed here uncommonly well. They feature intense minerality, well-defined tannins allowing for extended aging, and recognizable mouth-pleasing acidity. The incredible structure suggests an extended development over time, but the wines have been crafted for enjoyment and celebration in the present.
Both Jeb Dunnuck and Vinous have awarded this 2018 Cab. 97-points!
Jeb Dunnuck: "Lots of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as classic Mount Veeder notes of lavender, violets, bouquet garni, and rocky, mineral-like notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, full-bodied mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, it has a plush, layered texture, beautiful tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. Another head-turning wine from this label, it’s a candidate for the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon out there at the price point."
Vinous: "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Brave is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 possesses tremendous depth and tons of personality. Graphite, blue/purplish fruit, blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, sage, lavender, menthol give the 2018 tons of character to match its explosive feel. Boy is it gorgeous!"