Howell Mountain Vineyards Bear & Lion Zinfandel 2006
The wine itself is a brilliant medium ruby. Ripe, meaty and dark, it is the most intense Old Vine in years. Scents of cherry, spiced plum and clarified butter are supported by a deeper core of jammy fruit. On the palate, the wine is rich and concentrated, with chocolate and chestnut flavors and a long, smooth textured finish. It's wonderful now, but will continue to gain complexity in the bottle.
Howell Mountain Vineyards use of classic viticulture practices allows us to fully embrace the unique terroir of this AVA, as showcased in our wines. With a "boots-on-the-ground" approach to grape growing alongside loving, personal attention, our vines are monitored daily to produce definitively premium Howell Mountain grapes. By using old-world, minimal intervention winemaking methods, we maintain the integrity of the fruit, showcasing the unique characteristics of this distinctive appellation.
Winemaker, Bryan Kane, crafts a select handful of Howell Mountain Vineyards wines, including Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon for which Howell Mountain is best known. The source of the Zinfandel comes from vines that were planted at the turn of the 20th century, while the Cabernet Sauvignon vines are over 40 years old. Both the Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon vines are some of the oldest of their kind on the mountain producing exceptional old vine Howell Mountain wines.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.