Yesterday Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 | What should be $300 is just $40.
Yesterday Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 presents glass-staining purple. Yielding heady aromas of baked black fruit dusted with cinnamon and cocoa, it’s rich and ripe on the palate, with a base of vanilla-laced black plum topped by high notes of raspberry liqueur. Balanced by beautiful acidity, the tannins are big and healthy, and render a long, chiseled finish.
Rarely have we encountered a bottle that so perfectly encapsulates the personality of an appellation: the big, broad-shouldered power of Howell Mountain. By stepping in when we did and keeping the vineyard—and the winemaker described as “Napa’s top gun” in Wine Spectator—out of the press, we were able to shave a huge margin off the price per bottle. What should be $300 will cost you just $40 per bottle.
Parker calls this an Incredible Vineyard
So, we haven’t been able to get this wine out of our heads since we tasted it. Glass-staining purple, yielding heady aromas of baked black fruit dusted with cinnamon and cocoa, it’s rich and ripe on the palate, with a base of vanilla-laced black plum topped by high notes of raspberry liqueur. Balanced by beautiful acidity, the tannins are big and healthy and render a long, chiseled finish.
We were able to visit this vineyard—described by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate as “incredible”—on foot, but the ideal way to appreciate it would really be by helicopter. At the top of Howell Mountain, bordered by stands of trees, the 35-acre site is bowl-shaped and studded with hills. Like a sunbather on the beach, every facet of the parcel is touched by the sun. While the various aspects mirroring the complexity of the soil. The rocky, rhyolitic land provides little in the way of nutrients to the vines. Hence training the plants to send roots deep in search of moisture, and focus on producing succulent and ripe berries.
A Thrilling Cabernet
The experience is all the more memorable for its out-of-this-world value. The fruit from this famous vineyard, perched 1,800 feet above sea level on Howell Mountain, was originally destined for a high-profile blend priced at the top of the market. When the project fell through, we swooped in, eager to preserve this thrilling Cabernet as a single-vineyard designate.