Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Proprietors Kathy and Frank Dotzler along with winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown have quickly pushed this estate high on Howell Mountain to one of the leaders of that appellation. These wines all possess considerable character and the 2008s have certainly lived up to my forecast from last year, especially the Cabernets, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel.
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.