The deep, dark, ruby red hues of this sublime offering invite auspicious anticipation. True to its Howell Mountain heritage, bold and vibrantly expressive flavors of ripe black and red fruit, with hints of anise and sweet spices abound. While the expectation that attends its pedigreed terroir and adroit winemaking sets a high bar, the 2016 vintage of our most storied wine stands and delivers. Indeed, cued by the wine’s alluring nose, the attack is marked with gravitas and vigor. Ripe blackberry, dark cherry, licorice and hints of juniper berry and baking spices lead to an assertive mid-palate …whose deftly applied oak framing presages a “call of the wild” that will be barely contained. Throaty, brooding and almost feral, the wine’s underlying power awaits to be unleashed by those who favor big, bold striking wines built for power and purpose. Sleek, brawny, and sensuous without caring to be stylish or trendy, the wine invites comparison to the classic American muscle cars whose street legality may someday be challenged.
The grapes that made this wine were grown in an east-facing hillside Howell Mountain vineyard perched 2100 feet above the Napa Valley floor, located just outside the Rancho. The terraced vineyard is planted on an extreme slope, producing thick-skinned clusters capable of creating a wine with intensity, structure, elegance, and weight.