92 points and a 'Cellar Selection' designation from Wine Enthusiast: "Craig's Howell Mountain Cab typically is powerful and ripe, with bigtime tannins that require aging. The 2005 is such a wine. Made with a drop of Merlot, it shows black cherry and cassis fruit accented with lots of toasty new oak. But it's really young, stinging on the palate with astringency. Should negotiate the next 10 years with ease." (12/08) From Robert Parker: "The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain exhibits scents of red and blackberry fruit along with hints of roasted herbs, crushed rocks, and spice. Medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, and slightly austere, it should drink easily for 12-15+ years. Consistently well made wines emerge from Robert Craig." (12/08) Robert Craig's Howell Mountain vineyard is located high along the ridgeline at 2,300 feet and is blessed with the well-drained, thin, rocky volcanic soils that cabernet sauvignon loves to hate. The result? Vines that struggle to produce the small, concentrated berries that explode with blackberry aromas and flavors when crafted into wine. The 2005 has a subtle perfume of violets, vanilla and white pepper to complement the fruit and flavors of fresh-brewed coffee, licorice and clove on the palate. Focused, supple and elegant, this wine needs decanting now and will reward those disciplined enough to cellar it.
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