2014 Martin Ray Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine is available to order as part of our November Wine Club Allocation. Will Call orders will be available for pick up in the tasting room starting Saturday, November 11th. All other orders will start to ship Monday, November 13th.
Perched high above the fog line and the town of St. Helena, we gratefully procured a small amount of beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain. At 1400 feet elevation, planted in a combination of decomposed volcanic ash and red clay, this high elevation fruit tends to have more savory characteristics that it's other Napa mountain counterparts. The fruit is always late to bloom and late to ripen as it intensely concentrates the flavor and aromas, and while they tend to get twice as much rain as the valley floor, the soil remains dry due to its porous composition. This winning combination yields high tannin wine with tertiary notes like no other.
The 2014 vintage was challenging due to drought, but produced amazing fruit with smaller clusters and lower yields. An ideal harvest with consistently moderate tempera-tures and weather conditions, allowed the vines and fruit to stay healthy and maintain concentrated flavors and exceptional quality. Harvested October 3rd
This wine was hand-sorted then fermented in a single small open-top fermenter using a yeast that was designed specifically for accentuating the broad range of aromas and flavors that are common in mountain-grown Cabernet’s. The dry wine was allowed 29 days extended-maceration on its skins to tame the tannins and ensure optimal integration. After basket pressing, the small lot was sent to 50% new French oak for 18 months for malolactic fermentation and aging.
This beautifully refined Cabernet has all the savory characters of mountain fruit coupled with earthy notes to round out its lavish profile and tannic backbone. Greeted by aromas of dried sage, young spruce tree and olliberry, with an underlying layer of birch beer, this wine is as gracious on the nose as it is on the palate. A rich front, with a generously round mid-palate, backed by baked plum cake and sweet clove plays to its balance, while chewy tannins throughout give this wine the structure it needs to be ideal for aging.