The Story: It started in 1914 when Eliza & Mads Peterson purchased a 100-acre property in the Napa Valley. It hosted a small Zinfandel vineyard, but with the onset of Prohibiton in 1920, prunes became the cash crop. It remained an orhard, large vegetable garden and also hosted numerous farm animals. Not until the 1990s was the orchard replaced by vines again. The current Peterson generation has been growing Petite Sirah, Cabernet and Merlot on the property. Under the guidance of ace-winemaker Robert Foley, the Petersons have been producing amazing wine from the property called “Switchback Ridge” named for the winding trails in the hills above the vineyard. Today Kelly Peterson continues the legacy that began with her great-grandfather, Mads 105 years ago. Her daughter Ashley is being groomed to take over the reins one of these days as well.
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points: “The 100% varietal 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard comes from a site in Calistoga and was raised in 50% new French oak. It offers impressive amounts of cassis and blueberry fruits intermixed with lots of sappy herbs, incense, and California bay leaf-like nuances. Full-bodied, rockingly concentrated and powerful, yet still elegant and seamless, it’s a seriously good Napa Cabernet that might just be one of the best at the under 100-dollar price point.”
The Wine: A rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a beautiful expression of power and grace. Sweet black cherries and cassis aromas continue on the palate with a flood of mouth filling viscosity and gentle tannins. An incredibly lush mid-palate leaves an impression of berry, all-spice and chocolate covered cherries, leading to a long, velvety finish.
Winemaker Notes: “Intense dark fruit aromas of black cherry and black currant indicate the ripeness and purity of this beautiful Cabernet. The structural framework is sturdy, while tannin grips very gently, carrying the fruit flavors with a trace of vanilla into a long, graceful finish. ~ Bob Foley, Winemaker”
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