Outpost True Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
There are 250 cases of the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 90% new French oak. This cuvée ratchets up the levels of structure and tannin, but shares similar notes of blackberries, blueberries, floral, forest floor and spice. It is a broad-flavored, multidimensional wine built like a skyscraper. However, unlike the regular Cabernet Sauvignon, this offering requires patience because of some significant tannin. Forget it for 4-5 years and drink it over the next two decades.
This is a fabulous source of terrific wines from owners Kathy and Frank Dotzler and their multi-talented winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown. Not only are the wines outstanding, but their pricing policy is among the less ego-driven in Napa Valley. That is to be applauded.
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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.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.