2005 O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a beauty, with dark ruby/purple color and a big sweet nose of tobacco leaf intermixed with black currant, black cherry, new saddle leather, and white chocolate. The wine is full-bodied, powerful, with superb purity, texture, and length. It’s approachable now but promises to be better in 3-4 years, and last for at least 15 or more.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, deep ruby. Red plum, red cherry, licorice and graphite aromas are lifted by an almost Burgundian floral character; very pure and scented. Suave on entry, then sweet and rich in the middle, conveying a sense of brooding power. Finishes with substantial broad, building tannins and a late note of licorice. Winemaker Sean Capiaux says he experimented with extended maceration but this technique resulted in wines that were too tannic. As a rule, total cuvaison time is now just 14 days.
Although ever so slightly the richer and more open wine of the winery's two Cabernets, this very well-fruited bottling from Howell Mountain is still anything but frontal and fat. It teases with a complex mix of cassis, plums, burnt wood and cola in the nose and holds on to the same even as firming tannins take hold at the finish. Five years seems the minimum wait, but the wine could easily hold and improve for more than twice that time.
Ripe cherry and wild berry flavors are crisp and refreshing. Full-bodied and well-proportioned, ending with firm, cedary tannins and a dash of mineral and herb. Best from 2011 through 2017. 2,800 cases made.