Dr. George Belden Crane was among the first visionaries to plant vines in the U.S. back in 1862. He made the sobering discovery that he would later document in his medical journal that there was far more money to be made in wine grapes than in medicine. If only he could have been around to see what his grapes fetch today!
Eventually, Ed Salvestrin’s family would go on to buy the Crane property in 1932. He and his wife, Suzanne would sell the fruit to the high-flying big name players in wine, such as the Beckstoffers (who purchased the vineyard in 1999), Paul Hobbs, Alpha Omega and Realm just to name a few. By the late 90’s prices had already began to swell into the $200-$300 range, with Dr. Crane Vineyard fruit commanding far more per ton than almost any other vineyard in the valley.
But like many of the best wines in the worlds, the Salvestrins finally decided to make their own Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet and bottle it under the family name. Ever since their inaugural vintage in 2001, they have become managed to stay a bit under the radar while consistently garnering big scores from arguably the world’s two toughest critics in Wine Spectator and Parker’s Wine Advocate.
On the heels of last year’s #9 spot in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the year, comes the release of the 2019 vintage – one that has been heralded as one of Napa’s very best years on record. Allocations are understandably tiny for this red hot wine so make sure to snag a few bottles before it’s too late!
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95 Points, Wine Spectator
Bright and fresh, with lots of red currant, plum and black cherry fruit notes driving along nicely, while a subtle tug of iron runs underneath. Late floral and warm earth flashes on the finish add more range and contrast. Focused, detailed and really well built. Best from 2022 through 2035.
94+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Crane Vineyard is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it strides confidently out of the glass with notions of crushed black and red currants, ripe blackberries and black raspberries plus hints of dried Mediterranean herbs, tilled soil and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of crunchy black and red berries, framed by firm, grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long with loads of minerals and an herbal lift.