“This wine highlights the unique fruit character and mountain terroir that the Howell Mountain district has to offer. It has an extremely bold core of black fruit and mountain sage with a juicy, lingering finish.”
91 Points, Cellar Selection:Wine Enthusiast, July 2015.
Barrel Aging: 21 Months in French oak
“This is one of the best wines we’ve made,” says Winemaker Chris Cooney, as he swirls and evaluates the 2012 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. “It fully captures the bold personality of a vineyard that we discovered high up on the Howell Mountain plateau. The iron-laden, red volcanic loam soils give this Cab its rich, saturated color and loads of deep blackberry, cassis and plum character. Violet, forest loam, maple and hazelnut nuances permeate the wide-open, dark-fruit aromas. The tannins are dynamic and chewy, and amply support the expansive flavors through the persistent finish. It’s a powerful wine, with ripeness, richness and balance from the amazing 2012 vintage.” - Wine Enthusiast July 2015, 91 PTS and Cellar Selection
The hand-harvested grapes were lightly crushed into stainless steel tanks, and then the must was cold soaked for gentle extraction before fermentation began. To soften tannins, winemakers Chris and Trevor allowed the wine to ferment slightly warmer (90 degrees F.) than usual and to complete fermentation in French oak barrels. Four rackings naturally clarified the wine and it was bottled without fining.
We sourced the grapes from a small vineyard that was planted in 1994 on a gentle hillside on Howell Mountain. Here, at 1700-feet in elevation, the Cabernet Sauvignon vines begin spring bud-break later because of cooler temperatures, but the grapes have longer hours of solar radiation—being above the fog-line—for ripening. Because the vines are never shaded because of the north-south row direction and slope of the land, a two-wire, cane-pruned trellis system is used to give the clusters a leaf canopy for dappled light and protection from sunburn.