Ladera

Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

9.2271 ratings
9.243 pro ratings
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon
Top Notes For
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.3

Bottle enjoyed last night. Notes are from memory today.

While 2010 is not my favorite Napa vintage, it was not bad. In many 2010’s I’ve had, the structure, texture and body are just not quite all there. However, Howell Mountain wines, for me, faired better.

There are a number of good Howell Mountain producers, Dunn being one of my favorites. I think Ladera Vineyards is one of the more underrated Howell Mountain producers. Especially, at a Costco price of around $45.

The blue fruits that shine in Howell Mountain wines are always unmistakable. Blueberries, mulberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, blackberries, raspberry cola, light spice, soft leather, saddle-wood, lavender and violets. Beautiful acidity. The structure is good. The body round and elegant. The length, tension and balance just now coming into its own. Still needs a few more years to hit its peak. The finish is soft, round, elegant and beautiful. Lasts full two minutes.

Photos of; the winery and beautiful grounds, outside terrace, special event tasting & dinning room and their Estate vines.

Bottle enjoyed last night. Notes are from memory today.

While 2010 is not my favorite Napa vintage, it was not bad. In many 2010’s I’ve had, the structure, texture and body are just not quite all there. However, Howell Mountain wines, for me, faired better.

There are a number of good Howell Mountain producers, Dunn being one of my favorites. I think Ladera Vineyards is one of the more underrated Howell Mountain producers. Especially, at a Costco price of around $45.

The blue fruits that shine in Howell Mountain wines are always unmistakable. Blueberries, mulberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, blackberries, raspberry cola, light spice, soft leather, saddle-wood, lavender and violets. Beautiful acidity. The structure is good. The body round and elegant. The length, tension and balance just now coming into its own. Still needs a few more years to hit its peak. The finish is soft, round, elegant and beautiful. Lasts full two minutes.

Photos of; the winery and beautiful grounds, outside terrace, special event tasting & dinning room and their Estate vines.

Sep 29th, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.4

On the nose; bright, ripe, perfume floral, stewed fruits of; boysenberries, plums, blackberries, black raspberries, dark chard cherries, mocha, caramel, hints of vanilla, anise, light spice, lavender, lilacs and violets. The palate is; rich, ripe and sexy. The tannins nearly completely resolved. It’s deliciously gorgeous. The fruits are; ripe, rich, bright and slightly dark on the palate. It’s in a lavish place. Loads of blue fruits, blackberries, dark cherries, plum, black raspberries & raspberry jam with just the right amount of floral tones. Dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, clove, nutmeg, anise, a touch herbaceous, eucalyptus, dry crushed rocks, rich, black earth, dusty slightly tarry tannins, stones, used leather, touch of graphite, tobacco with ash, lavender, lilacs, lavender, acidity that runs like a waterfall over the palate, a long, beautiful, rich, ripe, well balanced with very good length and structure after 13 years in bottle. The 02 still has another 5-7 years of good drinking ahead. Owned by the Plumpjack Group/Cade since late 2016; which sits just the other side of the hill from Ladera. We’ll see how and if the style evolves. Photos of; their beautiful Estate property, grand private tasting and vineyard. One additional photo showing one of the reasons Howell Mountain is so great. It sits above the fog line allowing for more sun and easier ripping of fruit.

On the nose; bright, ripe, perfume floral, stewed fruits of; boysenberries, plums, blackberries, black raspberries, dark chard cherries, mocha, caramel, hints of vanilla, anise, light spice, lavender, lilacs and violets. The palate is; rich, ripe and sexy. The tannins nearly completely resolved. It’s deliciously gorgeous. The fruits are; ripe, rich, bright and slightly dark on the palate. It’s in a lavish place. Loads of blue fruits, blackberries, dark cherries, plum, black raspberries & raspberry jam with just the right amount of floral tones. Dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, clove, nutmeg, anise, a touch herbaceous, eucalyptus, dry crushed rocks, rich, black earth, dusty slightly tarry tannins, stones, used leather, touch of graphite, tobacco with ash, lavender, lilacs, lavender, acidity that runs like a waterfall over the palate, a long, beautiful, rich, ripe, well balanced with very good length and structure after 13 years in bottle. The 02 still has another 5-7 years of good drinking ahead. Owned by the Plumpjack Group/Cade since late 2016; which sits just the other side of the hill from Ladera. We’ll see how and if the style evolves. Photos of; their beautiful Estate property, grand private tasting and vineyard. One additional photo showing one of the reasons Howell Mountain is so great. It sits above the fog line allowing for more sun and easier ripping of fruit.

Dec 23rd, 2017
grape friend

Not as feral as some Howell Mountain Cabs, but had delicious stewed blackberry and a hint of cocoa and black minerals.

Not as feral as some Howell Mountain Cabs, but had delicious stewed blackberry and a hint of cocoa and black minerals.

1 person found it helpfulNov 28th, 2015
David Castrucci

This '07 was outstanding. A favorite of mine

This '07 was outstanding. A favorite of mine

1 person found it helpfulNov 27th, 2015
Luke Magnini

"Big boy Cabernet"

"Big boy Cabernet"

1 person found it helpfulSep 8th, 2015
Bob Bryden

Founder The Lake Sommelier, LLC, Author Wine Talk

9.0

Solid effort with silky smooth tannins, medium AbV and slight acidity. Dark fruit and a whiff of bell pepper. Still evolving with wonderful bouquet and moderately long finish.

Solid effort with silky smooth tannins, medium AbV and slight acidity. Dark fruit and a whiff of bell pepper. Still evolving with wonderful bouquet and moderately long finish.

Mar 11th, 2017
Henrik Poulsen

Nice..nice..nice!!!
I've always been a fan of '06 Napa and this was another great example.
The nose shows a bit (over)ripe but the wine delivers on the palate and is nicely layered and balanced.
94+ in my book.
Kudos to winemaker Karen Culler!

Nice..nice..nice!!!
I've always been a fan of '06 Napa and this was another great example.
The nose shows a bit (over)ripe but the wine delivers on the palate and is nicely layered and balanced.
94+ in my book.
Kudos to winemaker Karen Culler!

Mar 6th, 2017
Evan Roberts

Pretty darn nice, soft tannins, nice fruit, paired great with ribs and sauce.

Pretty darn nice, soft tannins, nice fruit, paired great with ribs and sauce.

Jul 5th, 2016
Rafael Landestoy

Really enjoyed it and after sitting in the glass for just 15 minutes or so it opened up nicely.

Really enjoyed it and after sitting in the glass for just 15 minutes or so it opened up nicely.

Apr 15th, 2016
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

8.9

Either the bottle was off or it simply wasn't a good time to open the 04 Napa Ladera. Showing blueberries, black plum, black licorice, straw/hay and a dry strong mineral finish.

Either the bottle was off or it simply wasn't a good time to open the 04 Napa Ladera. Showing blueberries, black plum, black licorice, straw/hay and a dry strong mineral finish.

Aug 29th, 2015