2007 Howell Mountain Zinfandel
California: Howell Mountain (Napa)
From winemaker Duane Dappen, today’s high elevation Zinfandel is an elegant and flavor-loaded Zin. Not as over-ripe or over-driven as some of its Howell Mountain Cabernet brethren, this Zinfandel is actually more elegant than some of the high-dollar cabs that hail from this region.
Mister Dappen has had an illustrious career, having honed his craft at Rombauer, Frank Family Winery, Bravante Vineyards and Stone Ridge Vineyard. Duane is known in the wine trade as The ZinMaster, a moniker that is so well-deserved.
Today’s 2007 D-Cubed Cellars Howell Mountain Zinfandel is a truly excellent wine and we offer it to you with our very hearty recommendation. Duane Dappen continues to impress us with excellent wine after excellent wine, and we are just thrilled to be able to bring you his latest Zinfandel.
Today’s Howell Mountain Zinfandel is unique in that it is one of the few Zinfandels to come from this mostly-Cabernet Sauvignon growing region. In fact, many Zinfandel plantings are being ripped out, in favor of the more profitable Cabernet Sauvignon.
2007 wines have been selling like hot-cakes (Robert Parker gave the vintage a decade-shattering 96 Points), and today’s 2007 clearly shows why; wines from this vintage are almost universally astounding.
Zin fans, please don’t miss out on this fantastic wine.
Pretty and perfectly clear, through the dark ruby hues, this wine shows perfectly even coloration, from core to edge.
Perfumed and lively, with dried dark flowers, black currant, dried blueberry, dried mission fig, cinnamon stick, clove and dried fall leaves.
Dark dried blackfruits, dried dark rose petals, nasturtium flower, dried fig, plum, dark cedar, black pepper and a hint of baking spice.
Long and dark, with black fruits gradually yielding to spice and a hint of graphite.
Enjoy this dark and woodsy Zinfandel with an herb rubbed roasted chicken or more exotic game fowl.
What the Winery Says
2007 Howell Mountain Zinfandel: The 2007 Howell Mountain Zinfandel is blended from two vineyards, Slaybaugh Ranch at 1800 ft and Black Sears Vineyard at 2400 ft, both well above the morning fog of Napa Valley. The altitude and unique soils of Howell Mountain help to create intense and complex wines. This wine shows the terroir it was born from while maintaining elegance and grace.
D-cubed Cellars 2007 Howell Mountain Zinfandel has aromas of raspberry, and dark cherries with white pepper and hints of wild mushrooms. This Howell Mountain wine has rich body and medium-full tannins that fill the mouth nicely. There are wonderful flavors of raspberries, porcini mushrooms and cigar box. The wine finishes long and rich with flavors of berries and cedar.
- Appellation:96% Howell Mountain, 4% Napa Valley
- Varietal Content
- 96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah
- 573 cases
- Release date
- September 1, 2010
- Time in oak - 11 months French and American
- September 2008
- No fining
- One polish filtration
- Aging potential
- 5 to 7 years
About the Winery
D-cubed Cellars is a small winery dedicated to the enjoyment of life, making wine, spending time with friends and good food. Specializing in three distinctly different elegant Napa Valley Zinfandels: Napa Valley, Howell Mountain and Black Sears, D-Cubed got its start in 1994 with the Howell Mountain Zinfandel grapes grown at the Black Sears Vineyard. In 2010 D-cubed Cellars was called a Top Artisan Winery by Wine and Spirits Magazine, a wonderful honor.
Winemaker Duane Dappen
I was raised in an agricultural family. In high school I had some friends whose parents made wine in their cave (actually an old gold mine). We got together, started a 4-H project and entered the results of our work in the El Dorado County Fair Home Winemaking competition. We made Chenin Blanc and Grenache with must donated by Greg Boeger from Boeger Vineyards in Placerville. We also produced a Plum wine and a Blackberry wine, The Blackberry wine received “Best of Show”. This was the inspiration I needed to enter the enology program at U.C. Davis.
After graduating from UC Davis, I went to work as a cellar worker at Grgich Hills Cellars. There, alongside four other UC Davis graduates and Mike Grgich, I learned the critically important winery production processes for producing ultra premium wines.
In 1989 I moved north, as cellar master to one of Napa Valley’s renowned Zinfandel producers, Jerry Seps’ Storybook Mountain. The move to a much smaller operation afforded me the opportunity to oversee nearly all production aspects at the winery. This four-year, Zinfandel-intensive tenure was incredibly valuable to my winemaking career.
The year 1993 brought me to Rombauer Vineyards where I began as cellar master but quickly rose to assistant winemaker. Because Rombauer also functions as a custom crush facility it was a unique opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of varietals, winemaking styles and a multitude of respected winemakers.
The opportunity to source and produce my own wine came in 1994 when several tons of the (not yet) super esteemed Black Sears Zinfandel grapes were made available to me. While Ridge Vineyards was the first to source this once dilapidated vineyard, it was Turley Vineyards and D-Cubed who brought acclaim to its grapes. My premiere release was the blending of select Black Sears rows with other outstanding Howell Mountain vineyards (it is still one of my core productions).