2018 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
The first release of the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was in 1995. The vineyards rest at 1,825 feet in elevation above the fog line. The porous soils yield small, dark skinned grapes with concentrated flavors. While each of Chris Carpenter’s distinct Lokoya mountain appellation bottlings are noteworthy, the complexity of the Howell Mountain will etch itself into your cortex.
The opacity of this serious wine stains the glass. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon starts out innocently with floral aromas of freshly picked field flowers and a potpourri of culinary spices. The muscular, high-toned, black orchard fruits emerge within a framework of black olive tapande, crushed stones, underbrush. sandalwood and freshly roasted coffee. This wine reveals a prototypical Howell Mountain structure and texture that dominates the deep core. The endless layers of brooding fruit coalesce into a velvety mid-palate that carry through to a 45 second finish. In some respects, this wine is the antithesis of the Cardinale, but still showcases Chris Carpenter’s skillset in emphasizing a luxurious mouth-feel along with a depth of fruit and tension that is truly Howell Mountain.
By W Peter Hoyne