Pulled this six nights ago just to have as a standalone wine. While all the Napa Valley mountain fruit (Mt Veeder, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain and Howell Mountain) are amongst my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon’s this one was delicious but just lacked that final punch for me. Duckhorn Vineyards has historically made exceptional wines, specifically Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlots (Three Palms Vineyard). This had some great qualities of dark crimson coloring on the eyes and medium heavy viscosity in the glass. On the nose, the aromas of dark fruit, especially blackberries, with a sweet vanilla wafted into the senses. On the mouth licorice, leather and black tea filled the palate. All producing a medium and extremely smooth silky finish. So thus far all the makings of a “great wine from Howell Mountain”. This was an extremely smooth wine for a Howell Mountain vintage. Where it fell a bit short was in the structure and tannins providing a more typical Howell Mountain wine. It was like a stoic comedian, as you keep waiting for the knockout punch line, but it never happened. In other words it was just too reserved and mild. This wine consisted of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. It was barrel aged 18 months in 100% French oak, with 85% being new. Then it spent another 6 months in 100% neutral barrels. While typically less expensive than some of the premium Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon’s at $125 it was still a good wine but fell short of a great wine which I was expecting. It was in the cellar almost 6 years.