2018 Duckhorn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
The first Howell Mountain appellation wine was produced in 1989. This appellation is situated well above the valley floor near the fog line. At this elevation daytime temperatures are cooler while the evenings are warmer. The porous soils consist of red clay and volcanic ash called “tufa.”
This bottling remains my favorite from the Duckhorn portfolio. The blend is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. It was aged for 24 months in barrel. The dense ruby-purple color is followed by aromas of purple violets and field flowers. This is a classic mountain-style Cabernet Sauvignon with a background of ripe crushed boysenberry and blackberry compote integrated with espresso, cedar, crushed rocks and pencil shavings. It has very extroverted personality with the perfect amount of complexity and texture. Yet, as with all Duckhorn wines the tannins are sleek and rounded. It all coalesces into a long and memorable finale.
By W Peter Hoyne