95 Points - James Suckling
95 Points/Must Buy! “This is very floral and aromatic with rose-petal and lavender undertones. Some tile, too. Full-bodied, round and very layered. Pine needles and dark berries. Graphite. Love the finish. Agile yet structured. Drink or hold.” -James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018
Robust tannins and an earthy finish make this a superlative display of Howell Mountain fruit. The wine was then aged in custom-toasted French Nevers oak barrels (42% new) for 18 months. The extended time in barrel allows the big, bold tannins in the Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc enough time to soften, and the aromas from the barrels become well integrated with the ripe fruit characteristics of the wine.
Yields were down in 2015 as a result of the continuing drought and further reduced by cold weather during flowering. However, a warm summer with almost no rain allowed for optimal ripening, and the resulting harvest, while small, was of outstanding quality. Grapes are small and packed with flavor and color, creating wines with excellent extraction and structure.
The Steinhauer Vineyard
Originally known as Tre Colline for its memorable undulating terrain, the 36-acre benchland vineyard was renamed in 2003 to honor Beringer’s long-time vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, who helped establish the reserve level vineyards across Napa Valley. At 1,800 feet elevation, southwest facing on Howell Mountain, just northeast of Angwin, Steinhauer Ranch features volcanic iron-rich soils notable for their rich red color, with a friable, loose texture. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc thrive in the sparse, infertile soil where cool mountain temperatures with high solar radiation above the fog line allow grapes to languish on the vine, developing bold tannins and distinctive notes.
100% Steinhauer Ranch, Howell Mountain
VARIETAL COMPOSITION 94% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
VINIFICATION Aged 18 months in 100% French oak (42% new)
ANALYSIS Alc: 14.9% | TA: 5.3 g/L | pH: 3.87