O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
|Region||California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain|
A unique blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% each of Saint Macaire, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc. Charred wood, pipe tobacco and black cherries on the nose. Texturally, the most focused and persistent of the O'Shaughnessy Cabernets. The palate is both generous and nimble, showing substantially chewy, textbook Howell Mountain tannins. A rustic Cabernet housed in a contemporary core.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain) is marked by smoke taint in both its flavor profile and huge, drying tannins. It is, quite frankly, a very hard wine to taste.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain reveals a dense purple hue as well as well as a smoky, powerful, black and blue fruit-driven profile that has classic Howell Mountain foresty notes, chalky minerality, graphite, and bay leaf. Rich and medium to full-bodied, it has some chewy tannins and a great finish. The smoky edge as well as grippy tannins give me pause, but it has plenty to like. It's not a wine to squirrel away for 10 years, because if there's some smoke taint, it's likely to get worse, not better.
Blue flowers and fruit on the nose, as well as licorice, tea leaf and dark chocolate. It's medium-bodied with firm, tight tannins and fresh acidity. A distinct, saline streak cuts through the dark fruit. Try from 2023.