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Almacerro, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 2018

Regular price $224.00

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About The Producer
Inspired by Dave and Kathleen’s desire to capture time and place, Castiel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a collaboration among nature, patient and caring human hands, and artistic excellence. It speaks clearly of its unique and extraordinary location upon Howell Mountain. It is masterfully brought to life by the talented and renowned winemaker, Celia Welch, whose deep knowledge and understanding of expressing terroir allows each vintage to showcase its unique qualities while maintaining the consistency of Howell Mountain characteristics.

Since the first vintage in 2014, attention to detail and exacting viticultural practices yield berries of ripe, delicious flavors. The grapes are harvested by hand in several passes resulting in many distinct vinifications from which to create the final blend. At the winery, clusters are gently destemmed and berries are chosen with intent by manual and sophisticated optical sorting methods. During fermentation, the wine is left on the skins until complete, and then pressed and transferred to French oak barrels to age for 18 to 22 months. Castiel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine structured around the backbone of minerality, concentrated fruit, powerful richness and integrated tannins, the hallmark qualities of a Howell Mountain cabernet.

Each vintage begins life in the vineyard where attention to detail and exacting viticultural practices yield berries of ripe, delicious flavors. Grapes are harvested by hand in several passes, resulting in many distinct vinifications from which to create the final blend. Arriving at the winery in the cool morning hours, clusters are gently destemmed and berries are chosen, with intent, through optical and manual sorting processes. The wine is barrel aged in 100% French oak for 20-22 months then bottle aged 12-14 months prior to release."

Sustainably Farmed.

Winemaker Celia Welch (Scarecrow)  and viticulturist Jim Barbour work with pristine fruit from Howell Mountain to produce small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon from an estate that is renowned for its soil quality and natural habitat. Castiel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon takes life from its ideally situated, west-facing vineyard on Howell Mountain where the soil is comprised of volcanic tuff and riddled with ancient rock.

Grape / Blend
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot

Origin
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is dark and brooding, earthy and layered. Notes of petrichor, cedar box, dusty savory herbs and mountain sage brush exude from the glass. Unmistakably Howell Mountain, its robust and muscular framework is woven delicately with luscious, velvety tannins to reveal a wine that is both power- ful and lifted. Beneath these savory layers are beautifully nuanced aromas of cassis, juicy ripe blackberries and mulberries with perfumy notes of fresh rose petals and lavender that provide yet another level of intrigue and depth to the wine. As the tannins wind their way across the palate, we are left with the impression of total balance and harmony, a wine that is both stoic and poised.

A glorious vintage, 2018 is one of the most idyllic in recent Napa history. The winter began with lower than usual rains and was slow to release its cold grasp on the mountain, pushing budbreak to the middle of April and setting the trend for an overall cooler growing season. These mild temperatures induced slow matura- tion of the grapevines and led to balanced canopy growth. Spring brought plentiful and well-timed rainfall giving the vines ample access to soil nutrients. Bloom in June was heralded with perfect- ly mild conditions, creating a generous fruit set of beautifully full clusters. Veraison soon followed in the middle of August, the timing of which, coupled with another cool spell, allowed for the brix to develop slowly and in unison with the phenolics and flavors of the berries. A bountiful harvest across the valley, the Almacerro estate saw the first pick on September 12th with the old vine Merlot and continued through October 6th with the last pick of Cabernet Sauvignon.

95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The same blend as the 2017, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is another impressive, medium to full-bodied Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from this team. Cassis, graphite, chalky minerality, and iron, as well as some classic Howell Mountain bouquet garni-like notes, all define the aromatics, and it's balanced, has ripe tannins, and lots of minerality on the finish. Give it another 2-3 years and enjoy through 2038+

Product Size: 750ml


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