2018 Bouchaine Howell Mtn Cabernet
Tucked away on a steep hillside of Howell Mountain lies a vineyard with no name. No fancy gates welcome the farmers that carefully tend to these Cabernet Sauvignon vines. And though it has no signs at the entrance, there is nothing hidden in the depth of flavors and unctuous concentration this wine showcases.
2018 delivered a late but incredible harvest. Beautiful weather during bloom allowed for a bounty of exceptional fruit. A cool, foggy summer with no heat events ensured slow even ripening, vibrant acidity and superb flavor development.
All fruit is hand harvested at night, preserving berry integrity. After a 7-day cold soak, fruit is fermented with native yeast in an open top tank. Postfermentation, the wine is drawn off and the must placed into a basket press for gentle pressing. The wine completes malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels and puncheons and is aged on the lees for 18 months before bottling.
We don’t often deal with “absolutes” in winemaking. This is not to say that there are no definitive rules within our winemaking, we just prefer to believe in the natural ebb and flow within the beauty of the winemaking world. So even though we are deeply in love with the Carneros region of Napa and its elegant Pinots and Chardonnays, we sometimes ebb and flow our way to the northern reaches of Napa too. This was the case with our 2018 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The region is known for its wines of power, those born above the fog in shallow, volcanic soils. But like the other wines in our lineup, we love the silky and earthy nature of this Cabernet Sauvignon, and that is an “absolute” we can all believe in.