Howell Mountain Vineyards
2010 Howell Mountain Old Vine Zinfandel
California: Napa Valley
Today’s 2010 Howell Mountain Old Vine Zinfandel is everything we’ve come to expect from our friends at Howell Mountain Vineyards. Powerful and deeply concentrated, yet paired with an elegant restraint, this wine floored our tasting panel.
The first word that comes to mind when tasting today’s gem? Delicious. Flavors of dark cherry, sweet plum, and espresso bean absolutely leap from the glass.
We loved today’s wine, and are certain you will, too. Don’t miss out on this stunner!
Dark scarlet with flecks of ruby red around the edge of the glass.
Subtly sweet and aromatic on the nose, with red cherry, raspberry, and boysenberry mingling with fresh berry bramble, coffee bean, mocha, dark baking spices, and a touch of subtle white peppercorn.
A heady blend of reduced fruit and sweet earth, this is a remarkably flavorful Zin. A compote of black cherry, sweet plum, and raspberry is laid overtop sweet tobacco leaf, fresh forest floor, espresso bean, black peppercorn, and a hint of sweet basil leaf.
Silky and smooth, with a lingering finish highlighted by reduced fruit notes and a touch of spice at the very tip of the tongue.
Sweet and sticky tamarind-glazed pork chops served alongside golden mashed potatoes.
What the Winery Says
2010 was cooler than average allowing the Zinfandel to have an extremely long hang time leading to more subtle and layered flavors. In late August, we experienced several heat spikes which actually helped the fruit to develop, but cool temperatures returned again in early September. Fortunately, a welcome, warm and consistent Indian Summer developed bringing good flavor and color development across the vineyard. Although the yield was down, the fruit barely reached 24 BRIX, providing good balanced flavors that exhibit the classic Howell Mountain characteristics.
At first sight, the wine exhibits a medium-dark red-ruby color with aromas of cassis, blackberry and licorice. On the palate, black cherry cola with a hint of boysenberry dance on the palate and lingers into the finish where hints of black pepper come through supporting a subtle 15-20 second long finish. This wine can be enjoyed now and over the next 5 years.
90 Point Review - Wine Enthusiast Aromas of boysenberries, cherries, blackberries mingle with suggestions of anise and clove on the nose. Flavors of blackberry, cassis, and black cherry come together with notes of walnut and sweet spice on the palate. A rich, supple wine that will pair nicely with food now or age well in the cellar, it’s a Cab drinker’s Zin.
- Bryan Kane
- 90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
- Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
About the Winery
In 1983, Mike Beatty, along with other Howell Mountain wineries and farmers, helped to establish the Howell Mountain Appellation (AVA) and reestablish the mountain as a premiere Napa Valley grape growing region. Prohibition had affected the entire wine industry, but with an entrepreneurial spirit and nature on their side, it would not be long before the mountain wineries surpassed their pre-prohibition glory. In 1988, Mike and another prominent Howell Mountain vineyard owner started Howell Mountain Vineyards to produce their own wines and further showcase their grapes. Today, Mike Beatty continues to lead Howell Mountain Vineyards and its focus on producing quality in the field with minimal intervention winemaking in order to showcase the unique characteristics of this distinctive appellation.
Winemaker Brian Kane
Brian subscribes to natural and non-interventionist winemaking techniques which he developed in studies at UC Davis and through experience making wine at Siduri, Roessler and other top California wineries. Brian also follows a 24-hour fermentation management program for his wines. The program involves varying the temperature and cap management procedure on a 3-4 hour time basis at various stages of the fermentation process. It is a process which he claims contributes to the color and structure of the wine without the need for external additives.