Today’s Story: Spring Mountain Vineyard
Spring Mountain Vineyard is a large estate and winery comprised of what used to be three unique properties, each with their own vineyards and wineries. Spring Mountain Vineyards (Miravalle) consisted of 257 acres, Chateau Chevalier (Chevalier) of 120 acres, and Draper Vineyards (La Perla) of 435 acres before being combined. La Perla is the uppermost and oldest portion of today’s estate, established in 1873 by Charles Lemme and home to the first Cabernet Sauvignon planted on Spring Mountain. La Perla expanded from 285 acres to 435, largely thanks to the addition of the vineyard just below it planted by Fredrick and Jacob Beringer in 1882. To the north of Beringer’s vineyard was Chateau Chevalier, whose winemaking presence began in 1891, and next door was Miravalle. To learn more about these historic estates and their eventual culmination into Spring Mountain Vineyard, check out the website here. Today, SMV consists of 850 acres on the eastern slopes of Spring Mountain with roughly 226 acres planted to vine that are broken into 135 small vineyard blocks.
Whether or not you check their website regarding the three original properties linked above, I highly recommend browsing their intensely-detailed winemaking page here and the equally intensive vineyard page here. Though there is far too much detail for me to delve into here, I will try to highlight that the vines are very densely planted to reduce yields and produce concentrated, naturally ripened fruit while utilizing sustainable practices. In the cellar, Spring Mountain Vineyard separates their vineyard lots, ferments using only natural yeasts, usually bottles the wines unfined, and adds minimal SO2. The winery is also incredibly proud of their 100% estate bottling process.
Today’s Wine: 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec; 13.6% ABV
The 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque deep ruby in color. I decanted this for 2 hours and drank it over the following 2 hours. The nose showcases aromas of blackberry, plum, ripe blueberry, black raspberry, tobacco, loamy earth, black pepper, slight baking spice, and mocha. Once on the palate, this beauty displays notes of blackcurrant, juicy plum, black cherry, pipe tobacco, charred earth, gravel, coffee grounds, ground herbs, and chocolate. This is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, refined medium tannins, and a long finish. Supremely elegant and well-crafted.
Price: $150 direct from winery (but I got this at an absolute STEAL of $50 at a Los Angeles wine store). $150 is probably pushing it on a value perspective, but at $100 or less this is a must-try. The quality and elegance of this wine is truly living up to the estate’s name. Pair this with filet mignon, lamb, or charcuterie and cheese.