Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018

Deep ruby color; cherry, dark fruit, blueberry, spice on the nose; black cherry, plum, dark fruits, blackcurrant, oak, tobacco, licorice on the palate.

Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018

Dry; good tannin structure without being too aggressive. Reserved, easy going balancing acidity (3.88 pH). Ripe fruits thanks to longer than usual hang time thanks to consistent temperatures during the summer. Full body, round, opulent, plush in the mouth. Hint of mint on extended finish. Sensation of sweetness thanks to ripeness of the fruit and alcohol; 14.9% ABV.

Aged 20 months in French oak: 40% new, 60% once filled. The lees were stirred for the first year, followed by racking three times in the second year. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Nicely integrated oak; the wood is there but frames the ripe fruits rather than competing for attention. Some complexity, but more straightforward presentation of rich Napa fruits.

Priest Ranch grapes are grown and wines made at the Somerston Estate in Napa Valley’s Eastern Hills. The eastern part of the Somerston property originally was settled by Joshua Priest, who arrived in 1849. Priest gained title to 638 acres of the Catacula land grant in Soda Valley. Priest and his descendants managed to hold most of the ranch for the next century.

Priest Ranch vineyard

Priest Ranch is a Somerston Estate brand. Craig Becker is the co-founder, general manager, and director of winemaking. Shauna Herman is the enologist. The grapes for this effort came from 24 unique estate vineyard blocks planted at elevations from 850 to 1650 feet.

Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018 delivers boldness you expect in a Napa cab, but also has opulence and plushness in the mouth. Pair with rich beef cuts; steaks; lamb; roast pork; wild game—venison; roasted chicken; mature and hard cheese. Also works as a cocktail wine or paired with neutral wine crackers, charcuterie with ham, sausage, pork. $40-50

Priest Ranch website

Priest Ranch tasting room
Priest Ranch winemaker Craig Becker
Priest Ranch enologist Shauna Herman
Priest Ranch director of vineyards Jack Knoblock