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O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
14.8% ABV
  • V95
  • RP95
  • JS93
  • RP95
  • RP93
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • RP94
  • CG92
  • RP95
  • RP95
  • RP96
  • WS90
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet is O'Shaughnessy's first 10th anniversary wine, a represents a special milestone for us. The wine has a dark purple color with a solid core. Blackberry, boysenberry, black currant, rum raisin, graphite, and violet aromas are bright and lively. Expressive fruit concentrations on the palate of black cherry, blueberry and crème di cassis are followed by a long complex finish with balanced tannins and good acidity. An extracted wine that is rewarding upon release but will continue to improve with cellaring for another 10 years at least.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is all minerals, graphite and pure Howell Mountain. Layers of dark red fruit come to life in this articulate, pedigreed Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 needs another few years in the bottle, but it is already quite striking, especially with some time in the glass. Saline notes frame the long finish. The 2009 is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% St. Macaire and 2% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
Rating: 94+
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O'Shaughnessy

O'Shaughnessy

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O'Shaughnessy, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
The winemaking philosophy at O'Shaughnessy Estate winery is to produce wines that express the unique character of our estate vineyards and their appellation. The winemaking style is contemporary, utilizing cutting edge fermentation equipment paired with natural, hands-on winemaking. Their emphasis is on balance; the concentrated nature of the grapes from our estate vineyards needs to be in balance with the flavors and aromas in order to produce the most harmonious wine.

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 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.

KOE120481_2009 Item# 120481