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As you may be able to tell by our review of the Taste of Howell Mountain Benefit, we here at DdV love our mountain wines.  Each mountain appellation has its own character and unique flavor but one thing they have in common is that they are big, bold, complex, and very tasty.

Here we bring you four terrific wines that we can highly recommend:
Missing from the Taste of Howell Mountain were two of our favorite Howell producers: Luna Vineyards and Ladera Vineyards.  While Luna is technically not a Howell producer, they do have two fantastic wines sourced from “above the fog”.

Luna Vineyards – 2007 North Fork Cabernet Sauvignon

DdV: 96
WS: n/a
WA: n/a
Price: $60.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Source: Howell Mountain – North Fork Vineyard

Another very fine effort from winemaker Tom Peterson.  Dark cherry and hints of cedar greet on the nose with lush dark berry on the mid palate finishing good and long with a wonderful balance.  This wine is complex now but will gain more nuance as it ages.  A huge new favorite for us. This will make grilled steak sing. Decant.

Luna Vineyards – 2007 Howell Mountain Merlot

DdV: 93
WS: n/a
WA: n/a
Price: $55.00
Blend: 100% Merlot
Source: Howell Mountain

Sourced high above the valley floor at 2,200 feet this is a true bold mountain merlot.  Rich blackberry and dark huckleberry on the nose with just a hint of graphite lead way to more blackberry on the mid palate.  The finish is long with mineral and italian roast coffee notes.  Silky smooth and balanced.  Perfect for steaks and stews. Decant.

Robert Craig – 2009 Mount George Cuvee

DdV: 94
WS: n/a
WA: n/a
Price: $30.00
Blend: 64% Cabernet, 25% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
Source: Mt George

If you’re looking for a good wine then don’t waste your time with Robert Craig.  They only make GREAT wines!  This fantastic blend is notable not only from its source and quality but for its price point.  I defy you to find a red blend this fine for $30 (really, if you do let us know – we’re in!)

Nice dark fruit, vanilla and cocoa on the nose giving way to dark cherry and currant.  Finishes smooth with some chocolate and spice. Rich and lush mouthfeel with a fine balance. Great for strong cheeses (gouda!) and steaks or stews.

Ladera Vineyards – 2007 Howell Mountain Cabernet

DdV: 95
WS: 90
WA: 93
Price: $70.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Source: Howell Mountain – North Fork Vineyard

Dark berry and a hint of cranberry on the nose giving way to plum, blackberry, and dark currant.  Long smooth finish with some cedar and chocolate and spice.  This is big and bold but very nuanced and smooth.  Great cellar selection as it will only get better with age.  Decant.