2008 Hundred Acre "Ark Vineyard" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1068412 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red-ruby. Sexy aromas of raspberry, redcurrant, mocha, toffee, spices, smoke and minerals. Plush on entry, then thick in the middle but with surprising acidity framing and lifting the smooth red fruit and toffee flavors. Boasts compelling breadth and palate presence. Wonderfully fine-grained, extract-rich cabernet with an unflagging finish. Like a liquid confection but with plenty of supporting structure for long aging.  (6/ 2011)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Deserves its high score by virtue of power and sheer flamboyant dazzle. Packed with ripe, sweet cherries and milk chocolate, with a decadently meaty taste, like beef tartare. Oak plays the usual role, adding a caramelly, buttered toast richness. The tannins are brilliant, so soft and sweet, they’re like candy. Drink this flashy wine over the next six years.  (2/ 2012)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Beautifully done in an ultraripe style. Gushing, with a jammy berry pie mix of wild berry, blackberry and raspberry flavors that are complex and supple. Full-bodied, gaining depth and richness on the long, persistent, tapered finish, which echoes black licorice, loamy earth and spice. Drink now through 2021.  (11/ 2011)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Ark Vineyard, from a vineyard at the base of Howell Mountain, is deep, sensual and powerful. It shows terrific richness in its dark cherries, plums, mocha, licorice and tobacco. This is a totally gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon loaded with character. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028.  (12/ 2011)

K&L Notes

Big, late-harvested, ready-upon-release Napa Cab that, according to Antonio Galloni (writing in the Wine Advocate), nevertheless have very individual character: "Proprietor Jayson Woodbridge makes some of the most unique, deeply personal wines in Napa Valley. Very late harvests and minimal intervention in the cellar, including no rackings until bottling, are just some of the choices that inform these wines. Woodbridge’s vineyards are in St. Helena (Kayli Morgan), the lower part of Howell Mountain (Ark) and Calistoga (Few and Far Between). Woodbridge is less reliant on outside consultants than many of his colleagues, so the wines bear very specific signatures that are unlike those of other wines being made in the Valley. The late harvests give the wines super-ripe fruit that can at times veer towards sweetness, but it is the extreme silkiness and finesse of the tannins that differentiates these wines. Woodbridge believes wines must be ready to go upon release and frowns upon decanting or advance aeration, which he doesn’t think should be necessary. As outstanding as these wines can be upon release, the reality is that the wines have also proven to age exceptionally well."

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Price: $299.99

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.
Specific Appellation:

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.