2018 Howell Mountain Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Highlands Estate
California: Napa Valley: Howell Mountain
Is…is it still 2020?
For better or worse, it’s ALMOST OVER! But how did we get a $75 Howell Mountain Cabernet for $29??? That seems like a price from the last century!
Better to not ask questions, and just dish this out. Now get your speed reading on because this one’s gonna FLY out the door!
Let’s start with a who’s who trip through the GIANTS of Napa Valley?!
Dave Cofran and Paul Segas arrived at their Highlands partnership via golden career paths. Cofran studied viticulture and winemaking at UC Davis, with classmates Nils Venge (Saddleback), Ric Forman and Justin Meyer (Silver Oak) while Segas was an executive at IBM daydreaming of Napa Valley. Dave went on to steer the ship at Silver Oak, while Paul invested in vineyards that were coveted by Mondavi, Montelena & Phelps.
At the turn of this century, Paul started Highlands, first under the auspices of Freemark Abbey, until he offered the partnership to Dave, who had just retired from Silver Oak. Faith had united them, so the two industry veterans hired young talent Bradley, assistant to Paul Hobbs at Laird Estate, as their day to day winemaker. Enough names, onto what’s in the glass…
Inky black, dark and near impenetrable, with a glowing scarlet rim. You know what’s coming when the concentrated nose dishes out lavish quantities of sweet cassis fruit intertwined with mineral smoke and oak spices. In the mouth, massive but soft mountain tannins coat the palate and reveal a full-bodied, pure, intense black cherry, blackberry extract, red licorice and dusty cocoa powder. Big and layered, and totally enjoyable now, but primed for a few years in the cellar to let it all soften up.
Howell Mountain Cabernet at this price is, frankly, a glitch in the matrix. But we’re here for it, and urge you to take advantage while it lasts…
Formidably opaque as ink, all the way to the narrow, glowing scarlet rim
Lavish quantities of sweet cassis fruit intertwined with mineral smoke and oak spices
Massive mountain tannins reveal a full-bodied, pure, intense black cherry profile
Blackberries arrest the palate with mouthcoating extract that lingers effortlessly
Lay down a couple of years or breathe for hours to enjoy with big, juicy steaks
What the Winery Says
- Bradley Smith
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Howell Mountain
- Highlands Estate
- 1,700 feet
- 22 months
- 100% new French oak
- 8 barrels