2011 Duckhorn Vineyards Howell Mountain Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
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: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot; Cooperage: 100% French oak château-style barrels (60 Gallons); Age of Barrels: 95% New, 5% Second Vintage
A true mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, there is an unmistakable wildness to this wine—both in its robust structure and in the character of its fruit. Complex aromas of wild berries, dried herbs, truffle and hibiscus leap from the glass. These notes continue on the rich, firm palate, where they mingle with flavors of cassis, Mission fig, dark chocolate, mint and lavender, all supported by fine, age-worthy tannins.
In one of the coolest growing seasons in memory, we benefited greatly in 2011 from our 35 years of experience farming Bordeaux varietals. To counteract uneven vine growth due to unusual spring weather, we did meticulous green thinning. We also gently opened up the canopy to expose the fruit, were judicious in our picking schedule, and sorted meticulously both in the vineyards and winery. The majority of our Merlot came in before the October rains, and due to our quality adjustments the remainder of our fruit fared well until it was harvested. Warm up-valley locations like Oakville, Rutherford, St, Helena and Calistoga were particularly successful, and overall the resulting wines are pure and elegant.