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Cabernet Sauvignon

A grape used for making red wine

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Get above the fog in the Napa Valley for something extraordinary!

  • Apr 2, 2009
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Above the fog, Villa Hermosa 2005 Howell Mountain Cabernet

I've never been to the Howell Mountain Appellation located east of St. Helena in Napa but in meeting the folks from Villa Hermosa and tasting the wine, I must say I've put it on my well worn and dog-eared map of "wine-destinations" which I must visit before I pass on. Some folks have a "bucket-list" , my bucket is spilling over with must-see wine destinations like the spit bucket @ "Frass Canyon". So I am happy to say, the next time I am in the Napa area I want to make an effort to visit and meet the folks who call Howell Mountain home, like the wonderful owners of Villa Hermosa Cherie and Art Goulard who have crafted a brilliant representation of the Howell Mountain Cabernet.
Upon first Swirl: A beautiful deep garnet core, displaying freshness and fading to lighter colored rim.
Upon first Sniff: In the nose it exhibits ripe, vivid blackberry, wild plum and black cherry fruit, yet showing some maturity with mocha nuances.
Upon first Sip: What I would call a complex, faint leathery notes in this full-bodied, intensely flavored, decadent display of dark fruits melding with lithe minerality, appropriate tannins and very persistent display of fruit and sense of place which is long and lingering.

Weighing in: A total of 21 months in 100% French Oak, with the vines grown in the rich, volcanic soil, on a south-facing hillside 2,000 feet above the Napa Valley

Fruit: 100% Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon picked from three blocks. Alcohol13.3%

My Recommendation: This wine is very approachable now and will improve with age, since only 330 cases were produced, availability is limited. Meaning even @ $75.00 each a wine of this caliber won't last long. I was very impressed with the efforts. This is an excellent wine worthy of a 94 point score. So run, don't walk to their website to order yours today!
Wine Makers Notes: On the nose, this vintage has lush aromas of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry preserves, and lilac with faint notes of juniper, white pepper, and truffle oil. The mouth opens with a warm velvety entry with lush berry and stone fruits. The full weight mid-palate leads to a lengthy, fruit finish.
Other voices: "...new faces that aim for the gold ring and could be the next cult wine..."— Mary Ann Worobiec, Wine Spectator Magazine
Until next time Cheers everyone!
The nose knows!

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About the reviewer
Bill Eyer ()
Ranked #123
"Hi, this Bill Eyer owner of this blog and I hope you will take a moment to visit my wine blog and let me know what you think, good, bad or indifferent! What you will find there are reviews of wine, … more
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About this wine


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Napa Valley, Australia's Coonawarra region and Chile's Maipo Valley. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions. Its widespread popularity has also contributed to criticism of the grape as a "colonizer" that takes over wine ...
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Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

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