Abreu Vineyard Howell Mountain 2009 Front Label
Abreu Vineyard Howell Mountain 2009 Front Label

Abreu Vineyards Howell Mountain 2009

  • RP98
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

As a set of wines, it is hard to surpass the four cuvees from the estate vineyards of David Abreu. As I have written many times in the past, all of these wines are truly world-class efforts that stand alongside proprietary red wines made from Bordeaux varietals from any appellation in the world.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Howell Mountain offers up scents of graphite, mulberries, blueberries, vanillin, chocolate and forest floor. The wine’s full-bodied mouthfeel, moderately high tannins, and spicy, structured personality result in a masculine-styled 2009 that requires 4-5 years of cellaring. It should last for three decades.
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Abreu Vineyards

Abreu Vineyards

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Abreu Vineyards, California
Abreu Vineyards Madrona Vineyard Winery Image

David Abreu is a third generation native of the Napa Valley. David grew up in Rutherford, California in a family with farming interests. Starting at an early age, David worked during the summers at Inglenook and Caymus vineyard. As time passed, his interests focused on viticulture and ultimately he began to farm and manage several properties on his own. In 1980 he founded David Abreu Vineyard Management, Inc. That same year he developed the Madrona Ranch vineyard. David produced his first wine in 1986 from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc at Madrona Ranch. His first commercial release was with the 1987 Abreu Madrona Ranch.

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Howell Mountain Wine

Napa Valley, California

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Today Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of this part of Napa’s rugged, eastern hills, but Zinfandel was responsible for giving the Howell Mountain growing area its original fame in the late 1800s.

Winemaking in Howell Mountain was abandoned during Prohibition, and wasn’t reawakened until the arrival of Randy Dunn, a talented winemaker famous for the success of Caymus in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early eighties, he set his sights on the Napa hills and subsequently astonished the wine world with a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Shortly thereafter Howell Mountain became officially recognized as the first sub-region of Napa Valley (1983).

With vineyards at 1,400 to 2,000 feet in elevation, they predominantly sit above the fog line but the days in Howell Mountain remain cooler than those in the heart of the valley, giving the grapes a bit more time on the vine.

The Howell Mountain AVA includes 1,000 acres of vineyards interspersed by forestlands in the Vaca Mountains. The soils, shallow and infertile with good drainage, are volcanic ash and red clay and produce highly concentrated berries with thick skins. The resulting wines are full of structure and potential to age.

Today Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah thrive in this sub-appellation, as well as its founding variety, Zinfandel.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

ZEP154040_2009 Item# 154040

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