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 Cabernet Sauvignon offers excellent structure and deep color. This wine is suitable for long-term cellaring.
Varietal Content: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, .5% Petit Verdot; Cooperage: 100% French oak château-style barrels (60 Gallons); Age of Barrels: 60% New, 40% Second Vintage
The 2008 vintage has yielded a stellar expression of mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon with a complex structure, firm tannins and rich flavors lifted by a streak of excellent acidity. Aromas of black currant, mulberry, Viennese coffee, chocolate, leather, and subtle sage mark the bouquet. These elements continue on the palate, alongside hints of blackberry, nougat, cedar, clove and nutmeg. Balanced oak adds complexity and dimension, with dusty mountain tannins providing a backbone for flavors that linger long on the finish.
Though the 2008 growing season presented certain challenges—from early frosts to drought conditions—a meticulous approach to viticulture and sorting yielded small crops with good concentration, highlighting soft, appealing tannins for our red varietals and bright acidity for our white grapes. A long, moderately cool summer led to a harvest that commenced in mid-August and concluded in early November. This relatively relaxed pace allowed us to pick in numerous passes to ensure quality, often focusing on individual rows or a single side of the vines.