2019 Moone-Tsai Howell Mountain Hillside Blend
Larry Tsai has an affinity for the structure and complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon grown on Howell Mountain. This Howell Mountain red blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot aged for 18 months in French Oak Barrels (70% new) This is an east-facing hillside vineyard situated at 2100 feet elevation above the Napa Valley floor. The case production is 750 cases.
This is a deeply opaque and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated wine offering aromas of fresh dried flowers and darkly tinged orchard fruits. Intertwined with ripe Morello cherries and black plums are savory herbs and spices, Oolong tea, saddle leather, anise and a layer of rich melted fudge. This wine has a muscular component that is etched with mountain dust and finely grained minerality. It keeps its composure and balance throughout, offering youthful tannins that find harmony as it reveals itself in the glass. This is another well-crafted achievement by Philippe Melka that will only benefit from some additional cellar aging.
By W Peter Hoyne