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Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2016

  • JD96
  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
I loved the 2016 Zinfandel Howell Mountain, and this beauty has everything you could want from a mountain Zinfandel. Possessing a huge perfume of blue fruits, leafy herbs, and cedarwood, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and a pleasure-bent, complex, layered texture that just begs to be drunk. It too will keep for over a decade.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2016 Zinfandel is composed 100% of this variety, coming from Howell Mountain and aged for 16 months in French oak, 34% new. It gives up bold, unabashed notes of dried mulberries, fruitcake, blackberry pie and and raspberry preserves with hints of dried roses and dusty soil plus a touch of garrigue. Full-bodied and decadently fruited with tons of exotic spice sparks, it has a firm, chewy texture and just enough freshness to support the generous fruit, finishing on an earthy note. 1,192 cases were made.

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Outpost

Outpost

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Outpost, California
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Outpost stands high atop Howell Mountain, purched 2200 feet above the floor of the Napa Valley. It was established in 1998 with the vision of making wines that reflect the place in which the fruit was grown. The vineyards are high altitude, with hard rocky red volcanic soil and sunny southwestern exposures. The wines currently being produced off the Outpost vineyards are Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Petite Sirah. They also produce a vineyard-designated wine from their other estate property, True Vineyards. This vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The guiding principle of their winemaking program is to realize the full potential of their vineyards while creating wines with a true sense of place.
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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.

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Zinfandel

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

CHMOTP4001016_2016 Item# 517616