2003 Howell Mountain Napa Valley Merlot

 | 2003

94 points
Wine Enthusiast -
Those notorious mountain tannins have largely melted, making the wine drinkable now, although it will hold well for a decade with proper cellaring. Lush and velvety, with a drop of Cabernet Franc, this is voluptuous in cherries, black currants and fine, toasty oak.

94 points, Two Puffs
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines
This uncommonly solid and deeply crafted Merlot is very clearly reflective of its mountain lineage in that it is a noticeably firmer and more tannic than are its rounder, valley-floor cousins. That said, it is remarkably generous in classic, black-cherry and ripe-plum fruitiness and sports an enriching veneer of rich and creamy oak. Although it toughens up at the finish just now, its very deep and keenly defined flavors linger on and on, and it is in all ways one of the more serious and ageworthy Merlots that have made an appearance in some time.

  • 2003 Howell Mountain Napa Valley Merlot