Ladera 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$89.00USD

The grapes sourced for the Cabernet is like a who’s who of exceptional areas: Pritchard Hill, Howell Mountain, Calistoga – all definitive Cabernet growing areas. This wine offers rich and deep blackberry, black cherry, boysenberry with back notes of plum, macerated black currant, red raspberry and cocoa powder. Though the oak influence is evident  (aged 22 months in 82% new French oak) it is not overwhelming. This drinks beautifully - the kind of pure enjoyment you want in a Napa Cabernet. 663 cases. ORIGIN: Napa Valley. ALCOHOL: 14.5%

2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

There’s a belief I have that if you mess up any fruit from Howell Mountain there’s something wrong with you. Duckhorn has consistently produced an extraordinary Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2017 is no exception. Comprised of all Cabernet with 10% Merlot, this is a softer version than in years past, these tannins are a little more mild, the acidity a little brighter, and the fruit opulent and rich. Black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and boysenberry, lead off and the fruit is a tad more expressive than in years past. It was aged 24 months, 18 of which were new French oak.

2014 Notre Vin Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is a wine made by the late Dennis Malbec who left way too young.  The wine is purple in color, slight ruby rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, spice, leather, char and slight black cherries.  full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, lots of cassis with underlying spice and char.  This is drinking well now but should continue to mature and drink well over the next twelve to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this will need some big fatty food such as a steak or roast.  

2017 Neal Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Estate, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Bottle #5041.  In contrast to the regular 2018, this one is drinking great.  Such is the nature of the vintage.  While perhaps not a top vintage, it was better than many people say and the wines are so much more accessible young while still being delicious and complex.  That seems to be even more true with mountain fruit that is typically more concentrated than valley floor fruit.  The label lists 14.5%abv.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, spice, clay and chocolate.  Firm tannins.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is very drinkable.  Cassis, chocolate and some sp

2015 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

What a beautiful wine.  Inky purple in color, ruby rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is very concentrated with cassis, baking spice, slight chocolate and a hint of char.  Full bodied with a lush texture.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is concentrated as well.  It took a couple of hours to open up.  Once it did, lots of cassis with coffee, spice and chocolate.  Lots of energy.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now but should continue to for another ten to fifteen years.  It drinks great on its own and will work well with roasted meats and veggies.  

2017 Outpost Immigrant True Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$126.00USD

This is a blend of  41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 25% Cabernet Franc made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Pop and pour, this took about twenty minutes to start opening and then drink very well.  Purple in color with a ruby rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, baking spice, slight chocolate, a hint of iron and roasted herbs.   Full bodied although certainly not over the top.  Rich texture.  On the palate, this has firm tannins that integrate somewhat with air.  Nots of cherries and black cherries with some underlying tobacco and a bit of chocolate.  Som

2007 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon St. Ralph The Liar White Cottage Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is a brooding wine that is just starting to open up.  It improved with air.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is concentrated with cassis, iodine, graphite and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  The palate is also concentrated with cassis and spice.  Deep but stubborn.  Give it a decant.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years. This will work well with grilled lamb chops or grilled portabellas.  

1999 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Selection, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

It is always a pleasure to drink an older Napa Cabernet.  This one is drinking beautifully today.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, spice, some tobacco, cherries and slight chocolate.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is a bit past prime but offering up a lot.  Some fresh fruit (cassis and cherries) along with tobacco and slight funk.  Nice finish.  Good complexity.  This should be consumed sooner than later but all bottles will be unique.  It drank great on its own and worked with some soft cheeses.  

2017 Selah Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This is yet another wine made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is intense with cassis, blueberries, floral (violets?) notes and spice.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is concentrated and needs some time/air to unwind.  Lots of cassis and some blueberries with some underlying char and spice.  Long finish.  This will undoubtedly improve over the next five to seven years.  It should drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  Drinks great on its own, this will require a big flavors to work with.  Roasts or grilled meats or veg

2015 Cakebread Cellars Dancing Bear Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

This is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Merlot.  Purple in color, slight ruby hues, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, some very smooth oak and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, there is a nice depth and complexity her.  Good acidity.  This is a really elegant wine that is just delicious.  It should continue to mature and perhaps improve over the next seven to ten years and drink well for fifteen more.  This would be a great steakhouse wine but will work well with a burger, too.  

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