O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Beginning with the 2008 vintage we took farming of all our properties in house so that now we are truly an Estate vineyard and winery operation, we have a staff of ten vineyard workers, a foreman and a vineyard manager working in conjunction with our winemaker, Sean Capiaux. Although yields were extremely low for 2008, due to one of the worst frosts in 31 years, we feel that the overall quality was extremely high.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is comprised of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest six other grapes – Merlot, Malbec, St. Macaire (how often do you see that!), Petit Verdot, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc – and is aged 20 months in three-fourths French oak. It has a dense purple color, a wonderful, crystalline nose of crushed rock, camphor, creme de cassis and spring flowers, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. The tannins are moderately high, but they are soft and well-integrated. This is a wine of tremendous intensity and plenty of up-side. Give this wine 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 20-25 years. (94+)"
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Perfumed nose offers plum, black cherry, graphite, mocha, cedar, chocolate mint and sexy toasty oak (75% new). Compellingly sweet and pliant, with a velvety texture given shape by harmonious acidity. Still a bit ungiving on the firmly tannic finish, which hints at menthol. This very rich, pure wine needs time in bottle to develop more complexity and should be long-lived."
Our winemaking philosophy at O'Shaughnessy Estate winery is to produce wines that express the unique character of our estate vineyards and their appellation. The winemaking style is contemporary, utilizing cutting edge fermentation equipment paired with natural, hands-on winemaking. Our emphasis is on balance; the concentrated nature of the grapes from our estate vineyards needs to be in balance with the flavors and aromas in order to produce the most harmonious wine. View all O'Shaughnessy Wines
About Napa Valley
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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