Randy Snowden’s parents purchased what is today The Snowden Ranch in 1955. The 160 acre property lies on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley looking down at Rutherford and St. Helena. This unique site isn’t part of either the St. Helena or Rutherford appellation, yet it produces fruit that shows some distinctive characteristics of both St. Helena and Rutherford.
Everyone knows Napa wine isn’t cheap. With land costs that can approach a million dollars per acre, how could it be? Yet, while many Napa wines work their way well into the 3 figure price points relative value still exists. Perhaps there’s no greater example of value from Napa than Snowden Vineyard wines.
A testament to the quality of fruit grown here is the list of world class wineries that, prior to the launch of the Snowden label, purchased their fruit; Silver Oak Wine Cellars, Frank Family Vineyard, David Ramey, Viader, and Caymus Vineyards.
I sat down with Randy Snowden to talk about the history of the site, look at the family’s wine making philosophy and of course to taste some delicious wine.
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Randy (left) and Scott Snowden (Right), Owners, Snowden Vineyards
2014, Snowden Vineyards “The Ranch” Cabernet Sauvignon
Harmonious nose showing blueberry, violet and a hint of dusty minerality. Gorgeously integrated flavors of blueberry, leather, lavender and a dustiness. Silky tannis and balanced acid lead to a long complex finish. An amazing value from Napa.
2014, Snowden Vineyards “Brothers Vineayard” Cabernet Sauvignon
Very floral nose highlighted with fresh blueberry aromas. Amazing texture. This wine is all about finesse. Bright acidity, balanced fruit, and silky tannins integrated throughout finishing with a distinct spiciness. Quality that compares to Napa wines at three or four times the price.
2008, Snowden Vineyards “Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon
A library release this wine is elegance in a glass. A touch restrained, revealing itself over time. Typical of a cool vintage the fruit is a bit lighter in character allowing this wine to be pretty without being showy. Flavors of red berries, are backed with minerality, mushroom notes, cigar box and baking spices. Classic mature Napa Cab!