(with 7% merlot): Bright ruby-red. Very primary, inky aromas of cassis, licorice pastille and menthol. Supple and creamy if a bit youthfully stunted, with slowly emerging flavors of black cherry, licorice and dark chocolate. Finishes with building tannins and a note of blackberry liqueur. Will this wine develop more grip during its final months in barrel? Note that this wine was previously bottled simply as Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain; as of vintage '12, the old Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Howell Mountain will become Reserve.
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: May/June 2014
Wine Spectator | Rating: 93
A seductive style, rich and layered, with a tempting overlay of intense, creamy mocha-laced red and dark berry flavors that are deep and persistent. A good bet to gain and age. Drink now through 2028. 5,775 cases made.
Drink Dates: 2015-2028
Author: James Laube
Wine Advocate | Rating: 98
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve comes in a unique bottle that is similar to the special bottle used by Joseph Phelps for their Insignia (which reminds me of a grenade). A blockbuster superstar, this inky/purple-hued 2012 is filled with creme de cassis, blueberry and mulberry fruit that hides any notion of its oak aging. Opulent, voluptuously textured, multilayered and stunningly rich with a finish that lasts 45+ seconds, this magnificent Cabernet should age effortlessly for two decades or more. But who can wait that long? Not me.