The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain covers every inch of the palate with layers of deep, rich, dark fruit. Blueberries, blackberries, violet and cloves seem to pop right out of the glass in this juicy, extroverted wine. Deceptively approachable, the 2010 has plenty of tannin lurking beneath its massive fruit. I would not be surprised if the 2010 shuts down in bottle. It is one of the deepest, inkiest 2010s I tasted from Howell Mountain. (AG) 96+
Bright, dense ruby-red. Spectacular nose combines dark raspberry, plum, cocoa powder, saline minerality and nutty oak; the first of these vintages to show any real sign of development. Wonderfully tactile but more backward in the mouth than the nose suggests, with the element of saline minerality carrying through. There's a hint of greenness here, even a slightly disjointed quality, but the wine boasts terrific intensity and claret-like complexity and finishes very long and savory, with dusty, palate-saturating tannins. When I first tasted this wine from the bottle I was put off by some rather pungent notes of eucalyptus and creosote but those elements have all but disappeared. This may be in an awkward stage today but I suspect it will be long-lived. Capiaux told me that the fruit set was quite large in 2010 and that because the ripening was so far behind schedule he dropped a full 25% of the crop just before veraison in an attempt to get the rest ripe. (ST) 93+
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)