2011 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1175476 94 points Vinous

 The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is richer, deeper and inkier than the Mt. Veeder, but also comes across as a bit less structured, perhaps because the tannins are nearly buried by the fruit. Blackberry jam, cassis, new leather, smoke and incense all flow through to a deep, resonant finish. This is another Cabernet Sauvignon built for the cellar, even if the 2011 is very tempting, especially for such a big wine. The explosive finish leaves a deep and lasting impression. I was deeply impressed with the three 2011 Cabernets I tasted from Robert Craig. All of these wines are going to need at least a few years in the cellar, as the tannins are pretty imposing at this stage.  (11/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is slightly more reticent aromatically with a juicy mid-palate, layers of fruit and glycerin, and a medium to full-bodied style. This is another impressive Howell Mountain offering that suggests it may have been the most successful AVA in the challenging 2011 vintage. Robert Craig Winery remains under the radar for high quality, impressive wines. (RP)  (10/2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (from a crop level of just 1.8 tons per acre, the lowest among Robert Craig's 2011 releases): Bright, saturated medium ruby. Blueberry, menthol, mocha, herbs and pepper on the nose, plus an intriguing suggestion of iron. Suave and fine-grained, with sweet dark berry, mocha and espresso flavors accented by a peppery note. Nicely thick, pliant and ripe for the vintage, finishing with slightly dusty, firm tannins and lingering dark berry sweetness.  (6/2014)

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Price: $69.99
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Staff Image By: Michael Jordan | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
If I had to pick a Napa mountain that I love the wine from, Howell Mountain would be at the top of my list. Dunn, Ladera, Neal Family, O'Shaugnessey and of course Robert Craig. Bright blue fruit combined with chocolate, menthol, pepper and cedar. The wine is deep and powerful with incredible length. A cellar candidate for sure.

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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.


- 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.
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