The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard is a much more opulent wine that in many ways is less typical of Howell Mountain. It is an especially seamless Cabernet Sauvignon loaded with dark fruit, flowers and mint, all of which are supported by insistent veins of minerality. All of the flavors build effortlessly to the muscular, inviting finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021. This is a gorgeous set of wines from Frank and Kathy Dotzler. The Outpost wines have very distinct personalities, and stand quite apart from most of what is being made in Napa Valley today, especially when it comes to Grenache, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah. The estate is located on Howell Mountain, in a very distinct microclimate that features a condensed growing season. When I visited in April this year the vines were completely dormant, yet when I returned, in late October, early morning temperatures were easily ten degrees warmer than they were on the valley floor. (AG)
Saturated medium ruby. Knockout nose melds cassis, truffle, eucalyptus, minerals and an exhilarating hint of white flowers; liqueur-like but not from overripeness. Supple, rich and seamless, with terrific underlying minerality leavening the wine's sweetness and giving it a rather classic mien. The very long finish features suave tannins that coat the teeth without showing any youthful roughness. A superb vintage for this wine, which has been consistently outstanding in recent years. (ST)
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