“…the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain comes from an elevation of nearly 2,300 feet, from a vineyard planted in red volcanic, rocky soils. Rich, full-bodied and possibly the star of an impressive line-up of wines, this is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot. Strikingly rich, opaque purple in color, with mulberry, boysenberry, blackberry, graphite and flowers, the wine is rich, chewy, full-bodied, multilayered, and just a sensational example of Howell Mountain. Sadly, most Napa Howell Mountain Cabernets of this quality sell for $200-plus, but this one is available for under $100, which is to the credit of the folks at Robert Craig. This is 25- to 30-year wine, although there’s no harm in drinking it sooner.”
– Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate,
December 29, 2016
Our 9-acre estate vineyard on the summit of Howell Mountain is a special place. The exposure is south facing, the soils are extremely shallow, and deeply red colored from high iron content. The vineyard is always difficult to manage because of the varying degrees of large stones just beneath the surface. (Without naming names, we never used dynamite to blast our soils deeper.) The vines
just have to make do, and the yields are typically two tons to the acre or less, about a third of the Napa Valley average.
In 2014 the major change for us is that Towle Merritt and his crew at Walsh Vineyard Management assumed farming responsibility for our property. With additional attention to soil variances, cane pruning to determine the crop load for each individual vine, and carefully monitored stress levels in the vineyard, our Summit Lake Estate Vineyard yielded fruit that was uniform and perfect in the 2014 vintage. Our 2014 wines have the beauty and density of the 2013 wines, but they also have a class and balance that indicates tremendous aging potential. Starting in 2015, we will add fruit from our spectacular Candlestick Ridge Vineyard close by, so this is the final time that this vineyard will be a solo expression.
BLEND: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petite Verdot
AVERAGE SUGAR: 26.1° Brix | TA: 6.2g/L | PH: 3.64 | ALCOHOL: 14.9%
CASES PRODUCED: 1087