High atop Mt. Veeder, breathtaking views evoke a quiet rapture, an appreciation requiring no further explanation or comment. Mt. Veeder speaks for itself. The respect for the land held by the Wappo, “The Brave Ones,” who first called the mountain home, still resonates. Among these rugged canyons and isolated valleys are iconic vineyards producing wines of such instantly recognizable character that they could only come from one very special place. Wine has been crafted from Mt. Veeder soils since the early 1860s. Along with other Napa winemaking pioneers such as Charles Krug and Agoston Haraszthy, Captain Stalham Wing, who arrived on Mt. Veeder in 1853, showed the first Mt. Veeder wine at the Napa County Fair in 1864. For 150 years, determined winegrowers were moving forward where many thought the conditions too severe, too extreme, and too lacking in promise. The land that is now home to Mt. Brave was originally purchased in 1841, before the Gold Rush forever changed California and two decades before the Civil War. Winegrowing on Mt. Veeder is not for the timid. The usual practices must be forgotten at high elevations, where thin soils barely hold water, and rocky terrain challenges both rootstock and man. Winter rains must be captured, and erosion prevented. Often, a spade, a pick, a shovel, and determination are the hallmarks that bring things back to basics, where rewards come from hard manual labor.
Made from 100% Malbec sourced from Mount Veeder at the old Chateau Potelle vineyard, this is arguably one of the best Malbecs from California ever. It’s concentrated in blackberry jam and black currant flavors, with a jacket of smoky oak. The alcohol is high, but not overbearing. This really asserts itself with the customary power and authority of a great Mount Veeder red.