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Ledson Winery & Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    14.1% ABV
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    14.1% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Deep violet color. Lively aromas of cherry, black currant, boysenberry, and vanilla hint at good things to come. The palate excites further with a full and rich body. The finish is very complex and long with amazing black currant, blackberry, earth, and cigar box nuances. Albeit young, the medium tannins and moderate oak make this beauty approachable now. A classic Howell Mountain Cabernet presented with balance and finesse.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ledson Winery & Vineyards

    Ledson Winery & Vineyards

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    Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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    Ledson Winery & Vineyards is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, a short one hour drive north of San Francisco. Emerging like a gothic blast from the past out of acres of rolling vineyards and pastoral calm, the estate's 16,000 square foot French Normandy winery is known as "The Castle" around the world. Originally designed as the Ledsons' family home, the contractor and designer in Steve Ledson got carried away and it quickly became clear that the architectural showpiece was much better suited to house the family's planned winery.

    Ledson specializes in small varietal lots that reflect the genuine diversity of the winery's select vineyards and appellations. Their wines are sold exclusively at the winery in Kenwood, in Ledson's online store, and at the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma.

    Boasting beautifully appointed hand-crafted tasting bars, impeccable grounds with picnic areas shadowed by 100-year old majestic oak trees, a fully stocked gourmet market as well as a tasteful clothing and gift boutique--the Ledson Winery is the breathtaking backdrop for an afternoon picnic or a weekend getaway.

    Howell Mountain

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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.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley and Washington, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

    In the Glass

    High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

    Sommelier Secrets

    Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    KOW186879_2011 Item# 186879