2008 Camiana "Blue Hall Vineyards" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $65)

SKU #1134146 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Camiana has been establishing a real track record with this bottling, and the 2008 is the best yet. It shows the intensity and purity of Howell Mountain fruit, bearing deep flavors of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate and currants, with big firm tannins that are characteristic of the mountain. There's also a softness and femininity that make the wine drinkable now, but it should easily develop over the next decade, at the very least.  (11/ 2012)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "This 100% estate Cab is a mix of clone 7 and clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine is stored in 100% French oak barrels for 2 years before bottling. The distinctive pepper notes of the mountain are balanced by dark stone fruit flavors and a velvety smooth finish. We strive for a wine that is complex, rich, balanced and sophisticated."

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Price: $39.99

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By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/18/2013  | Send Email
I can’t say enough about how good this wine is for the price. Mike Jordan, my counterpart in the San Francisco store, worked some serious magic to bring this price to all of you. I loved this wine when I first tasted it but was really worried about its asking price thinking that I wouldn’t be able to get it into peoples’ hands, but at $40 it is a no-brainer if you like mountain fruit Cabernet as much as we do. From a 3-acre parcel planted in 2001 at 1,700 feet elevation on Howell Mountain this wine is packed with aromas of fresh wild mushrooms, ash and deeper set tar and wet asphalt notes perfectly reminiscent of the mountain in which it comes. Soft and fairly open for a Howell Mountain wine this is wonderful now, although I think it will improve a bit over the next 2-5 years, with lovely ripe, yet precise flavors of camphor, black currant, sweet tobacco and a hint of scrub brush. Any fans of the Dunn, Ladera, Mayacamas, Keenan school of Cabernet should really pay attention here.

By: Mahon McGrath |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/9/2013  | Send Email
Roasted berry fruit, with an almost beefy dimension, picks up a hint of menthol-eucalyptus, and a dusty quality, on the nose of the 2008 Camiana Blue Hall Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The dust carries through to the cassis, plum, and blue berry fruit on the palate, which, while the most prominent feature here, is neither heavy nor candied. Tannins are present, but open, as are the subtle vanilla shadings lurking underneath. A winner for immediate consumption, this has enough character and dimensionality to take it outside of the ordinary.

By: Patrick Cu |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/11/2013  | Send Email
Wow. This is a big, concentrated, and dark stunner of a Howell Mountain Cab. It's worth the original price for $64.99, but for $40, it's a steal. There are loads of dark chocolate, blackberries, and earth on the nose, with hints of tar and anise. The palate is dense with blueberries and blackberries that are lightly peppered with herbs and spice. The body on this wine is full and rich. The finish lingers with dark cherry cola, vanilla, and delicious oak. I strongly recommend this for any fan of a great deal on big, expressive reds from California.

By: John Majeski |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/10/2013  | Send Email
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Grapevines sacrifice much to gain a foothold on the thin, stony, volcanic soils that characterize Howell Mountain's unyielding, distinctive terroir. To even attempt to plant viable vines in the past often required dynamite, a lot of it, to shatter the stubborn bedrock, and those tenacious growers who succeeded were ultimately rewarded with a bit of 'heaven' high above the valley floor. In fact, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in 1889 while honeymooning near St. Helena that he'd entered "the blue hall of heaven", inspiring the name for Blue Hall Vineyard and its alluring, artisanal mountain wines. The 2008 Camiana Cabernet Sauvignon is a high-toned, opulent beauty, made entirely with estate grown fruit from their high-elevation, 3-acre vineyard, first planted in 2001. Possessing warm, aromatic notes of blackcurrant, cedar and sweet tobacco, this ravishing Cabernet coats the palate in suave, almost creamy dark fruits and velvety plums, chocolate, baking spice and licorice flavors. Most impressive were the elegant, supple tannins and long, pure, soothing finish. A sublime wine to share with select friends over dinner and beyond.
Top Value!

Additional Information:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5