Deeply ruby in hue, the wine unabashedly greets the nose with aromas of black fruit, earth, and sage. In keeping with what Howell Mountain is known-for, this vintage of our storied Hillside Blend extends its introduction to feature a direct attack marked by blackberry, morello cherries, black pepper, and hints of just-opened cigar box. Aged 18 months in 30% new French Oak, the wine’s medium+ acidity, and grainy tannins combine to present a notable structure and lingering finish. Direct at the outset, the wine unfolds to reveal itself as matter-of-fact and a bit “old-school”;… that with additional cellaring will evolve into a distinctive, classic mountain red blend marked by character, grit, and gravitas. Saluting this wine with a comparison to some of the most memorable performances by Hollywood legend, Clint Eastwood; one recalls this iconic actor’s acclaimed roles as outlaw Josey Wales, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Highway, and the inimitable detective Harry Callahan. If patience comes easily, we believe that you will be rewarded in 9-12 months…when you summon this wine to “…make my day”.
The grapes that made this wine were grown in an east-facing hillside Howell Mountain vineyard perched 2100 feet above the Napa Valley floor, located just outside the Rancho. The terraced vineyard is planted on an extreme slope, producing thick-skinned clusters capable of creating a wine with intensity, structure, elegance, and weight.