Robert Craig Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Howell Mountain cabernets are often noted for the power of their tannins. This one shares that power: Grown on red volcanic soils at the estate vineyard adjacent to Robert Craig's Winery - the west face of a ridge top closing in on 2,300 feet - it builds intensity out of dark fruit tones and the black spice of its tannins. At first, those tannins feel luxurious, richly layered with cedar and cool forest scents. Their complexity gains with air, as does the wine's refinement, subsuming power into tremendous length of flavor. It brings on a scent memory of camping in the woods - a cabernet that excites the senses, structured to develop for years in the bottle.
An awesome Cabernet, as deep and dramatic as they come. It shows the incredibly concentrated blackberry and cassis fruit of Howell Mountain, along with firm tannins. Lots of new oak provides powerful notes of toast and caramel, but the wine is so big it easily handles the barrel influence. This needs time, and will begin to mellow by 2018 and glide through its changes for many years beyond.
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is an effortless and totally gracious wine. It doesn’t have the overt weight and power of the Mt. Veeder bottling, instead all the elements are much more subtle. Make no mistake, there is plenty of underlying structure, power and depth. The essence of raspberry jam, flowers, mint and sweet spices is layered in the elegant finish. This is another wine that will require further time in bottle to show its best. The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.