Actual bottle from our inventory is pictured. These bottles are in excellent condition, from their original case and all fills are into the neck. All bottles are as good or better than the bottle pictured. To see other wines currently available from this producer, please click the link with the name of this producer underlined above, just to the right of "Producer."
October 201398 The 2009 Howell Mountain offers up scents of graphite, mulberries, blueberries, vanillin, chocolate and forest floor. The wine’s full-bodied mouthfeel, moderately high tannins, and spicy, structured personality result in a masculine-styled 2009 that requires 4-5 years of cellaring. It should last for three decades. As a set of wines, it is hard to surpass the four cuvees from the estate vineyards of David Abreu. As I have written many times in the past, all of these wines are truly world-class efforts that stand alongside proprietary red wines made from Bordeaux varietals from any appellation in the world. Abreu has two vineyards in and around the town of St. Helena, the Madrona Ranch at the base of Spring Mountain and the Cappella, which is further toward the town. Ironically, his Thorevilos is not part of any AVA, but might be one of the three or four finest vineyards in all of Napa Valley. It sits on steep hillside behind the luxury Meadowood Resort. His other vineyard is on Howell Mountain. All of these sites total about 70 acres, and while Abreu sells some of the fruit to other high quality wineries, he continues to produce around 240-320 cases of each of these four selections, but that varies with each year. They are called proprietary red wines, but there is no doubting that these cuvees are dominated by 60-75% Cabernet Sauvignon and have increasingly high percentages of Cabernet Franc, especially Madrona Ranch and Thorevilos which no doubt accounts for their incredible perfumes and complex aromatics. These wines are all aged 24 or more months in 100% new French oak. Abreu, who first established his reputation as Napa Valley’s premier viticulturist, and who has a list of clients that reads like the guest list at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on New Year’s Eve, is impressive. While he clearly suffers no fools, his formula is intense work in the vineyard, radical viticulture techniques such as shoot positioning, crop-thinning, and a belief that the vine is never happier than when its in the shadow of its owner. His efforts and obsessive-compulsive work in the vineyards can’t be underestimated when it comes to seeing the results of what is produced in the bottle. These are spectacular wines year after year. Even in a challenging vintage such as 2011, Abreu’s viticultural work has paid off, even from the valley floor vineyards of Cappella and Madrona Ranch. Looking at the four vintages of Abreu’s St. Helena vineyard called Madrona Ranch, which was first planted in 1982, this is another cuvee that is usually composed of 47-50% Cabernet Sauvignon and an extremely high percentage of Cabernet Franc, now averaging between 33-45% in most vintages with smaller quantities of Petit Verdot and Merlot added in. The Howell Mountain project of David Abreu tends to be a blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and 15-18% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot. Coming from a higher elevation, mountainside vineyard, it is a completely different wine than the Madrona Ranch or Cappella. It also emerges from a bigger vineyard, although I suspect Abreu still sells some of its fruit to some of Napa’s better wineries. All of these wines are amazing efforts, but for me, there is something about the Thorevilos Vineyard that boggles my mind. Co-owned with Ric Foreman, this is a steep hillside site above and behind the famous luxury resort of Meadowood. This cuvee is normally a blend of 45%-61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28%-40% or more Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot.
December 201298+ The 2009 Proprietary Red Howell Mountain wraps around the palate with masses of blue and black fruit, smoke, tar, incense and licorice. A dense, resonant wine, the 2009 stands out for its extraordinarily vivid fruit and equally compelling personality. This is pure Howell Mountain at its very best. With time in the glass the 2009 opens up beautifully. There is more than enough fruit to fill out the wine's huge, broad-shouldered frame. The 2009 Howell Mountain is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot.