Deep ruby color; black cherry, plum, blackberry, on the nose; black cherry, raspberry, plum, red fruits, blackberry, cocoa, vanilla, cedar on the palate.
Dry; medium-full body with restrained, dusty tannins and balancing acidity. Somewhat disjointed and puckering on pop-and-pour; benefitted from decanting—which almost always helps big red wines, as my readers know. Pure cabernet sauvignon play—no blenders. Organically grown estate grapes—all Long Meadow vineyards and all their other crops are certified organic.
The juice spent 18 months in French oak, 50% new, 50% neutral. Fresh, fruity, tight focus on red fruits rather than alcohol, oak, and massive mouthfeel. Not jammy or flamboyantly fruit-forward. Nice balance of tannin and acidity. Old World taste and feel to this effort. 13.5% ABV
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 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.
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 2016 is elegant and understated Napa cab. Lighter in body and alcohol than standard massive Napa cab efforts. Good presentation of red fruit and skillfully made, as you expect from Long Meadow Ranch. Food friendly, also as you would expect from Long Meadow Ranch. Pair with beef; lamb—braised lamb shanks; roasted game—venison. $59-65