2013 O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1225273 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is O’Shaughnessy’s largest cuvée of wine, nearly 3,300 cases from her vineyard, with a final blend that is somewhat unusual - 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Carménère, and a rather obscure one, 3% St. Macaire. Dense purple in color, with notes of mulberry, blackberry, graphite and spring flowers, the wine has great fruit, a dense, full-bodied mouthfeel, and wonderfully sweet, well-integrated tannin. The acidity is sound, the purity impressive, and the wine long and reassuring. Drink it over the next 20+ years. One of my favorite wineries in Napa Valley, Betty O’Shaughnessy, the proprietress, bought her original vineyard on Howell Mountain in 1996 and began planting in the red, rocky, aiken volcanic soils. The elevation is a whopping 1,900 feet and is south-sloping, which is perfect for the sun exposition. (RP)  (12/2015)

95 points Vinous

 (79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 4% Merlot, 4% St. Macaire, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Carmenere) Deep, inky and powerful, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a classic wine endowed with tons of regional character and personality to burn. The inclusion of all seven Bordeaux varieties in the blend adds layers of nuance and complexity. Hints of game, smoke, licorice and dark spices add nuance to a somber, brooding Cabernet Sauvignon that is going to need at least a few years to fully open up. Betty O'Shaughnessy and her husband Paul Woolls, along with winemaker Sean Capiaux and viticulturist Alan Peirson, run one of the hidden jewels of Napa Valley. All of the wines in this lineup are recommended. The Chardonnay emerges from a vineyard in Oakville, while the Cabernets draw from sites on Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain, where the winery is located. The Merlot is a great choice for nearer term drinking, while the Napa Valley Cabernet is one of the very best wines readers will find in its price range. Sean Capiaux makes the wines in a pretty contemporary style, with a good deal of extraction and fruit intensity that balances the mountain tannins that are inherent in these pristine hillside sites. 95+ (AG)  (9/2015)

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.8