Abreu Vineyards Las Posadas Howell Mountain 2015
When David purchased this Howell Mountain property in 2000 it came with an unexpected perk: first growth redwood stakes dating back over a century. Relics of an earlier era of agriculture. “When the college owned this site they'd burn all the underbrush, including the stakes, to keep it clean. When I came in we found them and set them all aside,” he says. At about 2000 feet elevation, Las Posadas sits above the fog line, surrounded by a protected forest of fir and pine. Red Aiken soils are layered over white tufa, and the rocks that littered the site before it was planted now form walls defining the property. The redwood stakes—collected, stacked, preserved—await their next life.
Blend: 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot, 15% Merlot and Malbec
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A big version, with broad-shouldered currant and fig paste notes, wrapped in tar and roasted mesquite accents. The finish rumbles through, revealing espresso cream and licorice root details. Offers a gorgeous mouthfeel and a creamy edge that drapes over the warm earth, tobacco and alder elements at the end. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. Best from 2022 through 2037.
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.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.