...insanely beautiful. Crushed rocks, plums, cinnamon and licorice jump from the glass from this striking, delineated wine. In most cellars, the DB4 would be the top wine, but here it is the second label.
Bryant Family Vineyards was founded in 1987 with the single purpose of making an extraordinary, high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. Located on a 15-acre site in the hills east of St. Helena in Napa Valley, the winery is owned by Don and Barbara Bryant, who hired celebrity winemaker Helen Turley to make their early vintages. Like some other limited-production, artisanal California wines, Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon is available primarily through a mailing list. The vineyards are planted entirely in Cabernet Sauvignon. About 2,000 cases of wine are made each year. The high quality of the fruit is attributed to the hilly vineyard site near a lake, meaning that the grapes receive ideal amounts of sun as well as cooling breezes from the lake. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called Bryant’s estate wine, the only wine it makes, “a Cabernet of majestic proportions.”
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,