2004 Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1029393 92 points Wine & Spirits

 Here's a Cabernet with the volume turned up so high it begins to cross over into Howell Mountain Zin. There's a pungent floral aspect that seems more typical of zin, and a sense of minerals infusing the tannin. This is powerful, dense and hard to grasp as a young wine, yet it seems comfortable in its giant size. It may need a decade to mellow, or an oxtail stew to take down its tannins.  (12/2007)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby-red. Cassis, black cherry and menthol on the pure, slightly medicinal nose. Dense, sweet and pure, with lovely delineation and depth to the flavors of dark berries, bitter chocolate and mint. Chewy but pliant. Finishes with firm but ripe tannins and very good length. Classic Howell Mountain Cabernet from a ripe year. (ST)  (5/2007)

91 points Wine Spectator

 A rustic yet smooth and harmonious style, with dusty berry, mineral, sage, and herb scents that form a complex core of flavors. There's good intensity, and the tannins are in check. Ends with a minerally aftertaste, making this a wine that's very true to its appellation.  (10/2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Lush black fruit, cassis, liquorice, tar and black olive on the powerful nose. A big, intense mountain wine with beefy tannins, crisp acidity and subtle oak. Beautifully balanced for its weight and built to last. (17.5/20 points)  (6/2008)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 An elegant, mid-weight Cabernet Sauvignon, Ladera’s 2004 exhibits notes of black cherries, black currants, and plenty of spicy oak. A lovely texture as well as excellent fruit purity suggest the oak component should become better integrated over the next several years. It should last for 10-12 years. (RP)  (12/2008)

K&L Notes

The 2004 vintage will be known for rich, ripe, and concentrated wines with an abundance of flavors. The 2004 Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunning wine totally in keeping with the excellent vintage and with the previous Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernets. It is fruit forward, with ripe aromas of the classic Howell Mountain black cherry, blackberry, and plum hints, which are intertwined with subtle oak nuances. On the palate, this wine is weighty but not flabby. The tannins are long and velvety and are especially present in the wine's mid-structure.

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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.