The unique climate and soils on Howell Mountain are the key to the appellation’s success in producing powerful, age-worthy wines. Duckhorn Vineyards has sourced grapes from this distinctive region for more than a quarter century and has crafted a Howell Mountain bottling since 1989. Over the years, we have increased our commitment to this appellation with the purchase of two spectacular vineyards, Candlestick Ridge (28 acres) and Stout Ranch (36 acres). To encourage further complexity, we bottle-age this wine a year longer than our other wines prior to release. As a result, our Howell Mountain blend characteristically offers excellent structure and deep color. This wine is suitable for long-term cellaring.
Varietal Content: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot; Cooperage: 100% French oak château-style barrels (60 Gallons); Age of Barrels: 95% New, 5% Second Vintage
The blend focuses on fruit from our two Howell Mountain Estate vineyards-Stout and Candlestick Ridge-yielding a wine with exceptional structure and extracted aromatics of peppermint, chocolate, bramble, cedar, soy and ginger spice. On the palate, it is lush and mouth-filling, highlighting Howell Mountain’s signature wild berry and currant flavors, alongside notes of toasted marshmallow, espresso, earth, sage and sandalwood.
The 2005 season began with a wet winter and spring, which led to annual rainfall totals that were well above average. We had an ideal fruit set, which produced an abundant number of full grape clusters. As a result, the vintage yielded exceptional fruit for the season. The harvest lasted over two months—into the early days of November. In many ways the 2005 season was reminiscent of the excellent 1997 vintage, which offered an abundant harvest of remarkable quality.