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 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+)"
The Wine Advocate
"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."
International Wine Cellar