Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014

Deep ruby color; cherry, cedar, redcurrant, pencil shaving on the nose; black cherry, blackcurrant, vanilla, spice, mint hint on the palate.

Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014

Dry; restrained, dusty tannin; some acidity. Sour cherry notes, especially in late mid-palate and beyond. Full-on dark fruits just miss being fruitily delicious. This is more a serious cab rather than a fun libation. Nothing wrong with that, especially if you are pairing with food. Mostly cab, includes 7% petit verdot, 4% petite sirah; 13.5% ABV.

Medium-full body. Good freshness on initial attack. Herbal elements on medium-long finish, which includes the mint hint at the swallow after the finish. Fairly straight-forward Napa cab. Some layers, but mostly depends on Napa fruit to make its taste statement. Good, but not great. Priced accordingly. Scores points for responsibly farmed vineyards.

Long Meadow Ranch is a collection of five properties: three in Napa Valley, one in Anderson Valley, and one in West Marin. The operation is owned by Ted, Laddie, and Christopher Hall. They employ an integrated, organic farming system, using simple, sustainable methods. Each part of the ranch contributes to the health of the whole. Vineyards and wine making, olive orchards and olive oil making, cattle and horse breeding all work together in complementary fashion, as do the egg-laying poultry flock and the organic vegetable gardens. All crops are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. Bravo, Long Meadow.

Long Meadow Ranch map

According to the website: “In the late 1800s, the majestic Long Meadow Ranch property thrived with vineyards, apple orchards, olive groves, hay and a goat milk dairy until farming fell dormant during Prohibition. Over the following years, the property became swallowed by the encroaching forest until the Halls bought the property in 1989.

“The Hall family carefully breathed life back into the land, nurturing it back to its glory, and then some, by cutting back the abandoned olive trees and replanting the vineyards and apple orchards as you see them growing today. Home to the Mayacamas Estate, the rugged 650-acre landscape nestled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains also gave way to a long, sweeping meadow, thus the name Long Meadow Ranch was born.”

Today, Long Meadow Ranch farms includes three counties with more than 2,000 acres of grapes, olives, fruits, vegetables, and pasture land. Their vision: “To be a family-owned producer and purveyor of world-class wine and food that is economically successful and socially responsible using diversified, sustainable, and organic farming methods.” Their motto: “Excellence through Responsible Farming.”

Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 has depth and character, but is a good Napa cab rather than soaringly great Napa cab. I’m good with that. Good Napa cab is still very good wine. Easy drinker, too, which always scores points. Long Meadow Ranch also is very responsible operation—organic, sustainable, holistic. That scores points with me, too. Pair with the usual cabernet suspects—red meats, with leaner cuts getting the nod; rack of lamb; meatloaf; roasted chicken; duck; game birds; hard cheeses; charcuterie plates. $55

Long Meadow Ranch website

Long Meadow Ranch entrance
Long Meadow Ranch winery
Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley vineyard
Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley vineyard
Long Meadow Ranch barrel aging
Long Meadow Ranch restaurant
Long Meadow Ranch construction
Ted & Laddie Hall, Long Meadow Ranch
Chris Hall, Long Meadow Ranch