Arkenstone Howell Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2015

  • JS94
  • JD92
  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
This shows all the varietal character you could ask for, including passion fruit, guava peel, juniper berries and smoked bacon, but it’s presented in a really approachable way with nothing in excess. Full-bodied and muscular for a sauvignon blanc, yet held back and restrained. Velvety mouthfeel. Bright acidity brings this to a long finish. Drink now.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Estate offers slightly more purity and freshness compared to the 2014, with notes of caramelized citrus, Meyer lemon, orange rind, and mint. Medium-bodied, with bright acidity, solid concentration, and a great finish, it’s another high class, age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc from this estate.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Containing 6% Sémillon, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Estate from Howell Mountain opens with gregarious lemon curd, grapefruit and white peach notes with hints of lemongrass, dried herbs and fresh hay. Medium-bodied, fresh and laden with peachy fruit, it has very compelling mineral accents and finishes long and earthy.
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Arkenstone

Arkenstone

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Arkenstone, California
Arkenstone Winery Image
We first discovered, and were irretrievably drawn to this unique property in the late 1980’s. For over 20 years we have shared the beauty and mystery of Arkenstone with bear, coyote, mountain lion, rattle snake, scorpion and raptors of all sorts (as well as voracious grape eating wild turkeys). Remnants of native obsidian work, as well as walls made of local stone built during the 1800's, are constant reminders that we are just the latest inhabitants to appreciate and benefit from this land.

Our serious interest in wine and our families’ farming history perhaps made it inevitable that we would think about planting vineyards here. We knew we did not want to clear the site for an “industrial” vineyard but didn’t know whether the effort required of farming the small patches of open space using sustainable practices could be justified. Then, in early 1995, a good friend of ours, who grew up in a Napa Valley wine family and founded her own label, encouraged us. She arranged for an expert who consulted for top vineyards all over the world to come to the Napa Valley to evaluate a number of potential vineyard sites. He included Arkenstone on this visit. Test holes were dug, and on a cloudy wet day we tramped around the property talking about dirt, drainage, exposures, air movement, and, most importantly, the promise of the site. His conclusion was that wine grapes of very high quality could be produced here, and that Arkenstone was indeed a special site. We didn’t then know to say “terroir” but understood that the grapes and the wine from these vineyards could over time become a recognizable expression of our site, climate, farming and winemaking. We decided to make this promise a reality.

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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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Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.

RAE110007_2015 Item# 528104

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