The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain displays a classic Howell Mountain personality of graphite, plums, black currants, forest floor as well as good minerality. A beautiful texture, full-bodied mouthfeel, terrific purity and a long finish make for a sensational, showy, flamboyant Cabernet Sauvignon. (RP)
(14.8% alcohol): Dark red with ruby highlights. Maturing scents of plum, currant, cranberry, tobacco and loam are complicated by caramel and iron nuances. Plush, densely packed and compellingly rich, with moderate sweetness nicely countered by saline minerality. Finishes quite long, with a solid backbone of ripe, broad tannins; this wine is evolving nicely and already makes a very satisfying drink. This was the first vintage of this bottling to include seven of the estate's Bordeaux varieties--but not the Gros Verdot, which has never been used in the blend. (ST)
This optimally ripened and impressively extracted wine is a near-classic expression of mountain Cabernet, and, while it is fairly tannic and built along sturdier lines, it is also deep in curranty, briar-tinged fruit and shows a fine sense of layering that earns it especially enthusiastic endorsement. It presently toughens and tightens up at the finish and is nowhere near ready to drink in the immediate future, but it has the substance, structure and fruity concentration to guarantee very big dividends some eight to ten years down the line.
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