Breaking Into The Elite: 2010 Snowden Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Posted by Ian McFadden

Power, Poise, Refinement
2010 Snowden Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Breaking into the Elite

"I can't wait to see how the 2010 ages." -Antonio Galloni

We don't offer Napa Cabernet out very often, especially in the summer months. However, we have a very deep fondness for Snowden's 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and it's about to disappear from the market.

Every time we taste a Snowden Cabernet, we're deeply impressed. The wines deliver the kind of power and intensity that are Napa hallmarks, without sacrificing poise or elegance - exactly how we like it.

We've watched Snowden's wines improve with each passing vintage, but their 2010 Cabernet Reserve is the most impressive achievement that we've tasted from them.

Diana Snowden Seysses
Winemaker at Snowden Family Vineyards

2010 is one of the most heralded vintages of the past decade for Napa Cabernet and a personal favorite of ours. The cool vintage allowed Snowden to produce a stunningly aromatic, balanced and complete example of classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon.

Snowden's 2010 Cabernet Reserve delivers a level of freshness and acidic backbone that we love. The cool, vibrant profile brings minerality, finesse and a detailed edginess to the wine that makes it really, really impressive.

Every time we taste a Snowden wine it's impossible not to feel a Burgundian sensibility to the wines. It's the light-footed elegance that constantly brings it to mind.

And in the case of Snowden, this sensibility shouldn't be too surprising: Diana Snowden Seysses makes wine with her husband Jeremy Seysses at Domaine Dujac and in Napa at her family's estate. Similarly, she's spent time at both Domaine Leflaive and Araujo.

In 1955, Diana's grandfather, Wayne, purchased the Snowden ranch, which had a history of grape growing since the 1870s. It is in a rugged location, a 4x4 is required to visit these vineyards. It's also well-situated; perched between 450-850 feet, the grapes are protected from the heat spikes that Napa can see and are planted on well-draining volcanic perlite soils. These are uniquely positioned vineyards, sharing borders with the Rutherford and St. Helena appellation and just a few hundred yards from the Howell Mountain appellation with neighbors like Sloan.

Robert Parker has called Snowden "an awakening giant." For us the wines have definitely arrived at an elite level with the 2010 Cabernet Reserve. Thankfully, prices have not reached those of Napa's finest, while the quality has. Snowden's 2010 Cabernet Reserve has a decade of graceful aging ahead of it. Grabbing a few bottles is absolutely recommended.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media: "Crushed rocks, graphite, spices, dark cherries, flowers and melted road tar all come to life in the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. The 2010 stands apart for its freshness, nuance and pure vibrancy, all of which serve to balance the wine's sumptuous, engaging personality. A harmonious, perfumed finish rounds things out in style. I can't wait to see how the 2010 ages."