Castiel Estate 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley ~ 95 points
Made by the talented hands of winemaker Celia Welch with fruit from one of Napa Valley’s most arresting mountain AVAs, this showpiece—aged 20 months in (70% new) French oak—is still in its youth but already offers great balance and structure. Aromas of mocha, cedar, and nutmeg permeate the glass. Opulent and statuesque, it offers blue and purple berries seasoned with garden herbs. Chalky tannins become creamier as the wine opens up, while licorice, cigar leaf, balsamic, and black olive round out the focused finish.