Dancing Hares Mad Hatter 2014
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Dancing Hares Vineyard is a five-acre estate vineyard tucked in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley, at the foot of Howell Mountain. The vineyard consists of two distinct parcels. The upper vineyard (2.5 acres) is planted on soils ranging from fractured volcanic rock to decomposing volcanic rock intermixed with red Aiken soil. This section is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The lower vineyard (2.3 acres) is a virtual "bowl" of clay-loam soils, very well suited to Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Merlot is planted on the "morning side" of the bowl, preferring to be in the less intense sun of the morning and early afternoon. The Cabernet Franc basks in the late afternoon sun "afternoon" (west-facing) side of the bowl. These two varieties, blended with ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and a bit of Petit Verdot, help to produce wines of depth and distinction, more layered and complex than Cabernet Sauvignon alone (à la Bordeaux).
The Proprietary Red Mad Hatter is made of 65-70% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 30-35% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Made in a gorgeously deep velvety style, with a sweet kiss of licorice, blackcurrants, black cherries and incense. The wine is fragrant, with supple tannins and opulent lushness. It manages to be both hedonistic and intellectual. Drink or cellar for up to 10 years.