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."
Winemaker Celia Welch 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
100% Cabernet Sauvignon; clones 2, 4, 7, and 191
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Displaying classic Howell Mountain character in its many facets, this wine shows black cherry, bay berry, cinnamon tea, dusty brambles, cedar cone, and dried floral aromas all evolving simultaneously, all intertwining in a way that creates a beautiful, complex impression. On the palate, soft, polished tannins envelope a very solid backbone. An intriguing interplay of savory (anise, earth, dried leaves) and sweet fruit/perfumed notes echo the complexity of the aromas. The finish is broad and polished, with a lingering flavor of fragrant rhubarb and fresh juicy raspberries.
This wine was created entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the steep, shallow soils of Howell Mountain, on the eastern flanks of Napa Valley. Three separate clones of Cabernet were harvested between September 30 and October 6, 2016 and were kept separate through fermentation and for the first year of maturation in French oak barrels. The wines were carefully blended and returned to barrel for additional maturation prior to bottling n May of 2018. — Celia Welch, winemaker
95 Points- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a slightly broody nose to begin, offering glimpses at damp earth, charcoal and underbrush scents over a core of warm cassis, blackberry pie and black raspberries with touches of pencil lead and dried Provence herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has bold freshness and a myriad of earthy sparks, framed by ripe grainy tannins, finishing long with tons of bright, crunchy black fruit. This is my first time tasting this new project high up on Howell Mountain with winemaker Celia Welch and WOW - what an impressive start! A vineyard to watch!