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Duckhorn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Duckhorn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

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Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017: A Napa Valley Gem

The 2017 Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine crafted for discerning palates. Hailing from the esteemed Howell Mountain AVA in Napa Valley, this Cabernet Sauvignon boasts exceptional quality and ageing potential. This in-depth exploration delves into the wine's character, offering detailed tasting notes, ideal serving suggestions, and perfect food pairings to elevate your next dining experience.

Vineyard and Appellation: The Influence of Howell Mountain

Howell Mountain, with its volcanic soils and cooler temperatures compared to the Napa Valley floor, lends a distinctive character to the grapes used in this Cabernet Sauvignon. The higher elevation vineyards (ranging from 1400 to 2000 feet) experience a longer hang time, allowing the grapes to develop intense flavours and firm tannins. The resulting wines are known for their power, structure, and remarkable ageing potential.

Tasting Profile: A Symphony of Dark Fruit and Savoury Complexity

The 2017 Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon greets the senses with a deep ruby colour that hints at the richness within. On the nose, an explosion of dark mountain fruit awaits. Imagine a decadent bouquet of ripe blackcurrants, mulberries, and huckleberry jam, intertwined with notes of black raspberry chocolates. Savoury hints of cedar and spice add further complexity, creating an enticing aromatic profile.

The first sip ushers in a full-bodied and opulent experience. Firm mountain tannins provide a structured foundation, framing flavours of blackberries, figs, and blackcurrants. A lively acidity cuts through the richness, adding finesse and balance. The long, layered finish lingers on the palate, showcasing the wine's depth and potential for further ageing.

Key Characteristics:

  • Colour: Deep ruby
  • Aroma: Dark mountain fruit (blackcurrants, mulberries, huckleberry jam), black raspberry chocolates, cedar, spice
  • Palate: Full-bodied, opulent, firm tannins, flavours of blackberries, figs, blackcurrants, balanced acidity, long finish
  • Grape Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon (100%)
  • Region: Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Ageing: Aged for 24 months (18 months in new French oak, 6 months in neutral barrels)

Serving Recommendations: Temperature is Key

To fully appreciate the nuances of this Cabernet Sauvignon, proper serving temperature is crucial. Ideally, aim for a temperature between 15.5°C and 18°C (60°F and 64°F). Allow the wine to breathe for 30-45 minutes after decanting to soften the tannins and further enhance the aroma.

Food Pairings: A Culinary Adventure

The Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 is a versatile food pairing companion. Its bold character stands up well to rich and flavourful dishes. Here are some exceptional pairings to consider:

  • Red Meat: Grilled steaks, roasted lamb, braised beef short ribs
  • Wild Game: Venison loin, wild boar stew
  • Hearty Cheeses: Aged cheddar, gruyere
  • Mushroom Dishes: Portobello mushroom steaks, truffle risotto

For a truly indulgent experience, explore pairing this Cabernet Sauvignon with dishes that echo the flavours found in the wine. Consider a grilled ribeye steak with a rich black peppercorn sauce or slow-braised lamb shanks with a rosemary and garlic infusion.

Cellaring Potential: A Wine for the Ages

The firm tannins and balanced acidity present in the 2017 Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon suggest exceptional ageing potential. This wine can gracefully develop in your cellar for up to 10 years or more. Proper cellaring conditions, with a cool, dark, and stable environment, are crucial for ensuring optimal maturation.

A Note on Sustainability

Duckhorn Vineyards is committed to sustainable practices throughout the winemaking process. They employ responsible vineyard management techniques and implement water conservation measures. For environmentally conscious consumers, this adds another layer of appreciation to enjoying this exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.

In Conclusion: The 2017 Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a Napa Valley masterpiece. Its captivating aroma, bold structure, and rich flavours make it a wine to savour. With careful cellaring, it can continue to evolve and impress for years to come. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a perfectly matched culinary creation, this Cabernet Sauvignon promises a truly memorable wine experience.


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