I’ve long held the belief that it’s pretty hard to mess up Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain fruit. The vines there are simply exceptional. So in the very capable hands of Duckhorn, the fruit in this 2018 shines. It’s all Cabernet with 8% Merlot added. There’s a lovely elegance to this wine, a steadiness that combines all the elements, oak, fruit, wood and tannin together. Not one element outperforms the other. The soft fruit includes noticeable black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, mocha, huckleberry and the ever-present but limited vanilla and caramel. The tannins and acidity and also mild, making this Cabernet a bit of a softer iteration than previous years. It spent a full two years in barrel before its release, some new French oak and six months in neutral barrels, hence the lithe viscosity to this Cabernet. ORIGIN: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley. ALCOHOL: 14.5%

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