Very, very concentrated, with a formidable core of black currant and blackberry fruit. Bone dry but with that subtle impression of sweetness that comes from ripe Cabernet. Dried mushroom tones contribute an appetizing, savory component and there's also a trace of black licorice. The tannins are fine-grained and supple, with an impression of chewiness fleshing out the aftertaste. The vivid flavors of the finish suggest a terrific future.
"The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a huge, powerful wine that is starting to show the very earliest signs of development. An exotic melange of smoke, tar, camphor and licorice leads to expressive, fleshy fruit as the 2005 opens up in the glass. Hints of tobacco, leather, licorice and spices are layered into the finish. This is a gorgeous wine with lovely mid-palate presence and fleshiness. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035."
The Wine Advocate
"Deep red-ruby. Complex nose melds cassis, violet, licorice, musky game, black tea and black olive. Denser than the Napa Valley offering but tighter today, with its sweetness currently under wraps. But this serious, backward wine turns sweeter on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins, an intriguing note of tobacco and sneaky length. Structured for a slow evolution in bottle but even today this is not especially austere."
International Wine Cellar