2012 Ladera "Reserve" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1233682 91 points Wine Spectator

 A firm, muscular style that exhibits taut black cherry, dark berry, lead pencil, savory herb and underbrush notes. Gains on the finish. The tannins are pleasantly grainy, holding the flavors on the palate. Best from 2015 through 2026. (JL)  (10/2015)

K&L Notes

Howell Mountain was Napa’s first sub-AVA, and for good reason. The terroir is dramatic, unique, and powerful. Lying between 1,600 and 1,800 feet in elevation, Ladera Vineyards sits above the Napa Valley fog, its grapes cooled instead by the high elevation. Longer, cooler, but still very sunny ripening days and a deft hand in the cellar create the dynamic power found in their wine.

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Price: $84.99

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By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/20/2016 | Send Email
For as terrible as California’s drought has been, it has blessed us with a string of amazing wine vintages. 2012 was the first to receive universal critical acclaim. If the ’13 Valley cab is gorgeous, the ’12 Howell Mountain Reserve is glorious. The Reserve is always 100% Cabernet and a pure, powerful expression of Howell Mountain. It is deeply fruited with velvety cassis and blackberry, blue fruit, a touch of cool, fresh herbal character. The concentration is immense. The texture is silky smooth with a mouth coating tannic structure leading to the impressive peacock’s tail finish. A great achievement from Winemaker Jade Barrett and the whole team at Ladera.

Additional Information:


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.
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 (%): 13.9