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 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%
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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