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James Laube on the secret of Napa's success.
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For more on Napa Valley, see the Feb. 29, 2000 issue of Wine Spectator.
Total Acres Planted: 900
Total Bordeaux Varieties: 742 acres
REFERENCE CABERNETS: Barnett, Cain Five, Fife Reserve, Keenan, Pride Mountain, Spring Mountain Miravalle-Alba-Chevalier and Philip Togni
REGIONAL CHARACTER: For a long time, Spring Mountain didn't have much of a reputation for great Cabernets, but certainly the tiny Philip Togni Vineyard turns out magnificent, dense and detailed Cabernet, and Pride, at the top of the mountain (2,000 feet elevation), shows how lush and polished a mountain-grown Cabernet can be. Still, most of the wines tend to be austere.
The early trendsetters were whites--Chardonnay and Riesling--and this is a cool and wooded appellation, with lots of underground springs. Many of the vineyard exposures are due east and north, not south facing, which accounts for many late-harvest seasons. Like Mount Veeder to the south, Spring Mountain gets lots of rain. If Pride and Togni are indicative of trends, better wines are in the offing.
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