84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot
100% French oak château-style barrels (60 Gallons)
Barrel Aging: 26 Months
Age of Barrels: 95% New, 5% Second Vintage
Though structured and intense, this wine also offers abundant complexity with aromas of mulberry, black fruit, rose hip, cinnamon and cassis. French oak-inspired notes of leather, brown sugar and vanilla bean add to the inviting aromatics. On the palate, flavors of crème de cassis, violets, graphite, baked plums and marionberry are supported by a classic Howell Mountain structure that make this wine exceedingly cellar-worthy.
From our first Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blocks to our final red-varietal Estate picks, our 2009 harvest spanned more than two months. Though the 2009 growing season presented certain challenges—from early shatter to late-season rain—a thoughtful response in the vineyards yielded smaller-than-normal crops of high-quality fruit. This response included aggressive leafing, an early thinning protocol and a heavy field sort to select only the most desirable grapes.