All Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the winery’s 2 1/2 acre vineyard near the top of Howell Mountain. Starts with mincemeat, fruitcake, mint and cherry compote nose. On the palate it’s loaded with berry fruit with bittersweet chocolate, cola, dusty earth and toasty vanilla notes. While it does boast a “mountain structure,” it is also surprisingly supple and elegant. While it will definitely age for 15-20 years, this is also one of the best high-end Napa Valley “Mountain Cabs” from 2013 to drink now.
The Spence family grows all Cabernet Sauvignon on their Howell Mountain “home vineyard,” located part way up the mountain (at 1900 feet – Howell Mountain runs from 1400 to 2200 feet high. Volcanic, meager soils, cooler days/warmer nights and consistent afternoon/early evening breezes equate to deeply ripe, thick-skinned grapes. This vineyard is still relatively young. The wines from here will get even better in years to come. Crazy to say $90 is a bargain for a bottle of wine, but in the context of Napa Cab, this is indeed a good deal.