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Wine Advocate Score: 97 Open Wine Advocate Score: rating modal
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During his annual winter trip to the Napa Valley, our domestic buyer was tasting wines atop Howell Mountain. If you know anything about the layout of the Napa Valley, Howell Mountain is an area where many of the best wines are made, including Lail, O'Shaughnessy, Lokoya, La Jota, Arkenstone, Dunn, get the point. But to make another point, there was a new label showing their wine. Now, this happens every year, but this wine...stood out.

Proprietors Dave and Kathleen Decesaris have a pretty long history in the wine industry. We's like to think that they "honed in" their Napa Valley know-how while shopping at our store, but it's really all Kathleen's background. See, she was a wine educator at Freemark Abbey in the 1990's, which gave her easy access to the regions very best growers, vintners, and winemakers. As for Dave, during an impromptu day trip to Napa Valley, Dave followed the advice he came across in a randomly purchased guidebook and visited Freemark Abbey Winery. It was there that he met his soon to be wife and partner, Kathleen, who introduced him to the basics of viticulture and the concept of vineyard-designated wines. This introduction to the importance of site and mesoclimate ignited his passion to produce single vineyard, single varietal Napa Valley cabernets.

Their Howell Mountain vineyard, surrounding forest and rugged mountain scenery is reminiscentof the continuous interaction between the unique natural elements of the site and the vines. Rocky soils combined with warm days and cool night privide an ideal microclimate for Cabernet Sauvignon. Sustainably farmed by highly acclaimed viticulturist Jim Barbour (who has also farmed the properties at Hundred Acre, Kelly Fleming, and Au Sommet), the rocky, volcanic soils, excellent drainage and long growing season of this west facing Howell Montain AVA site combine to produce complex fruit featuring ripe yet age-worthy tannins, crisp acidity and alluring mountain cabernet flavors.

Celia Welch is one of North America's most significant winemakers and believes wine should speak to the unique qualities and characteristics of the vineyard. Her exceptionally talented hand has crafted some of the most notable Cabernet Sauvignons to come out of the Napa Valley, including Scarecrow, Staglin, Lindstrom, and her own Corra label.

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "After 22 months in 70% new French oak, there's scarcely a trace of it to be found on the nose of the stunning 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. There's a touch of bay leaf, perhaps the slightest hints of bell pepper and pine, but also masses of cassis. Dark, dense and sturdy, this full-bodied masterpiece is rich, round and supple, with a long finish that leaves a lingering trail of mocha and dark chocolate that somehow avoids any sense of heaviness or excess."
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