2017 Ashes & Diamonds 'Red Hen Vineyard' Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA (750ml)
Red Hen Vineyard is another of Bart and Daphne Araujo’s biodynamically farmed sites. The property sits in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, located in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, across Highway 29 from A&D Vineyard. With well-draining gravel and cobblestones suspended in alluvial silt and clay, the soil here acts like a sponge, naturally pulling rainwater down from the mountains and requiring little to no irrigation. It also encourages fine tannins and finesse in the resulting wines. Red Hen’s Cabernets have a quiet power, poise and impressive length with silky, weightless tannins that are the hallmark of this benchland site.
Diana Snowden Seysses makes this wine from a vineyard in the benchlands of the Mayacamas, where the gravelly loam soil retains enough moisture that the vines rarely need to be irrigated. In 2017, the Red Hen Vineyard was owned by the Araujos and farmed by Steve Matthiasson, both of whom were working toward organic certification (now it is owned by Phelps). The quiet grace of this wine makes a strong case for a prime site that warrants careful farming. The voice of the site comes through in woodland scents of purple flowers, cool herbs and a vibrant intensity without weight. It’s ripe rather than fruity, powered by earthy tension, with longevity to its flavors that leaves a lovely, delicious memory after each sip.
- Wine & Spirits, 94 pts.
Complex notes of red and black fruits, saddle leather, dried flowers, and earth all emerge from the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hen Vineyard. These carry to a medium-bodied, nicely textured, elegant red with Old World charm. Enjoy bottles over the coming decade.
- Jeb Dunnuck, 90 pts.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hen Vineyard No. 2 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Red cherry, plum, mocha an wild flowers are pushed forward in this racy, resonant Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2017 offers terrific depth while retaining the mid-weight feel that is such a signature of these wines. - Vinous, 93 pts.
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