The only 2006 I tasted is a re-evaluation of the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain, which is performing better now than it did last year. A dense purple color in addition to plenty of creme de cassis, crushed rock, blueberry, and brioche-like notes are found in this full-bodied Cabernet. It avoids the rustic tannins of this vintage, and exhibits good sweetness and purity of fruit. (RP)
The pair from O'Shaugnessy serves as a fine reminder that well-made wines will be found in great years and difficult ones alike, and, if this deep, keenly defined youngster is very much built in the sturdy Howell Mountain style, it still offers up loads of very precise Cabernet fruit and shows classic balance with the inner mass to properly buffer its age-demanding tannins. It is a touch tough, to be sure, but it has the right parts in all the right places to grow for a good many years. *Two Stars*
Good bright ruby-red. Aromas of crushed blueberry, menthol, licorice, cocoa powder, violet and sweet oak; shows a distinct mountain berry intensity on the nose and palate. Sweet, dense and chewy, with a youthfully medicinal character to the dark raspberry, dark chocolate and vanillin oak flavors. This impressively deep wine finishes with big but sweet tannins. Incidentally, winemaker Sean Capiaux prefers this estate's 2006s to its 2005s, describing them as 'more typical of what we seek in California.' (ST)
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