Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
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Origin: Candlestick Ridge Vineyard, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.
Varietal: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 2% Petite Verdot
Producer's notes: "In another year featuring inclement weather at all the wrong times in the mountains as the fruit developed- cold in April for budbreak and windy and cold at flower and fruit set — we experienced a mild and prolonged growing window that lasted through harvest with only a couple of heat spikes. The yields were tiny, but the fruit was exceptional in quality. The small number of berries from our Candlestick Ridge and Winery Estate vineyards welcomed extraction, with the only worry being the massive tannin numbers showing in the lab as the color poured from fermentation. As time went on, the tannins have proven ripe, round, and lovely on the middle palate, providing the scaffolding for size and scope of the fruit in the 2019 vintage. As always, a little Merlot and Malbec help to unlock the Cabernet and provide this astounding wine with even greater dimension.
The 2018 Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet shows the typical thorny stem fruit that is a Howell Mountain hallmark. Deep, dark nuances of iron, graphite and crushed rock dance around the core of black fruit that coats the palate. The 2018 exhibits the racy energy of the vintage in every way, and this wine should easily cellar for decades despite the balance that makes it possible to enjoy while young. The red volcanic soils and pure tufa of Candlestick combine to produce a structured, towering cabernet in 2018.