Silky blackberry, Cuban tobacco, extra dark chocolate. Wild mulberry, toasted vanilla, rich black plum. Deeply concentrated and delightfully rugged rumblings of dark cherry, blueberry extract, and crème de cassis converge in a robust and riveting attack bolstered in decadence by freshly-brewed coffee, spearmint and new leather. Hints of cedar, camphor, and anise emerge to impart remarkably clean herbal lift that seductively collides with spiced notes of nutmeg and ground cinnamon. Eruptions of blooming violet, iris, and potpourri reveal expressive and downright succulent floral tones bolstered in opulence by impressions of hazelnut, caramel, and toasted marshmallow. Though impressively plush and luxurious up front the powerful attack concludes with undercurrents of graphite, volcanic gravel, charcoal, and smoke that expose layers of dark and brooding earthiness. Impressively bold and serious on the palate while remaining enchantingly pretty, velvety, and smooth; exhibiting outstanding balance, poise, and pedigree within a muscular and undoubtedly age-worthy presentation. Full bodied with pronounced satin-like tannin carried by elevated acidity. This 2016 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon by Castiel Estate is an astoundingly captivating and complex red from Napa Valley.
Perched high above St. Helena within the rugged Vaca Mountains, Howell Mountain is inarguably one of Napa’s most intriguing and exciting high-elevation viticultural zones. This bottling, crafted by Castiel Estate using 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Howell Mountain, showcases the incredible marriage of depth, power, and nuance this inimitable region is uniquely capable of facilitating. While it is certainly highly extracted with loads of densely saturated mountain fruit, this wine fervently exudes compelling herbal tones, fragrant flowers, baking spice, and earth. It is rich and mouth-filling while remaining perfectly nuanced and balanced, and certainly will only get better with a decade or more of bottle age. Exceptional.
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