2005 Bella Vetta "Ami's Vineyard" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $35)

SKU #1053655

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Very ripe in cassis, with plenty of smoky oak influence and a spicy, dry finish. This is a bold, tannic young wine, tight and astringent in youth. It needs time in the cellar to soften and meld. Should be best between 2009 and 2011, and live far longer." (6/1/2009) 90 points and one star from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "Even accepting that wines from this location take their own sweet time to come around, and, despite the evident closed-in nature of this wine, it is still our sense that there is good , indeed very good, depth here. Its focus is entirely correct in its delivery of lightly spiced curranty fruit, and it is equipped with an enriching overlay of creamy oak. It wants a few years of time in the cellar but does not demand great forbearance and is likely to reach its peak by 2015 or so." (04/09) The quality of wine coming from this winery is exceptional, and the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignonfrom Ami's Vineyards is just spectacular. Bright and fresh with that beautiful Howell Mountain minerality. Black and blue fruit bursting out with spice, cedar and minerals. The wine could benefit from 2-3 more years of aging or an hour of aeration. Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon for $19.99. Unbelieveable. (Mike Jordan, K&L Wine Merchants)

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Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/5/2010 | Send Email
This was a definite standout for me during our last domestic tasting! Elegant and nuanced, the Ami’s Vineyard cabernet exhibits classic Howell Mountain character with loads of berry fruit balanced by cedar, smokey oak, tobacco and even hints of rose petal. This polished wine is showing well, but would benefit from a few more years in the cellar.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.