Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain
The Barnetts have one of the most spectacularly sited properties on Spring Mountain, with steeply terraced vineyards at an elevation of 600m (2,000ft). Because they sit above the fog line they gain up to three extra hours of sunlight a day compared with the valley floor, providing for a long, even ripening period.
The first Cabernet release from the 16 ha (40 acre) property was in 1989 and quality has been consistently fine. The highest point on the property, Rattlesnake Hill, provides a superbly intense and balanced super-premium Cabernet. The vineyard here will produce barely more than a ton to the acre and this is reflected in a wine that offers brilliant depth and intensity. A rich and plummy Merlot comes from both the home vineyards and neighbouring York Creek.
Pinot Noir originally sourced from the Santa Lucia Highlands now comes from the Savoy and Donnelly Creek vineyards in the Anderson Valley and also from the Tina Marie Vineyard in the cool Green Valley AVA. Chardonnay in a fat, citrusy style, with just 70% malolactic to preserve acidity, is sourced from Sangiacomo Vineyard in Carneros. A second release also comes from the Savoy Vineyard. The range is completed with a fresh and vibrant gooseberry-laden Sauvignon Blanc which should be enjoyed young. The Spring Mountain reds in particular will develop very well in bottle; the Rattlesnake Hill deserves up to a decade. (DM)
To find out more about Barnett Vineyards and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Napa and Carneros..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines. (DM)