One Howell Mountain into the cellar, and one Mt. Veeder coming out

As the last of our club shipments and spur of the moment acquisitions begin to slow down, it’s a great time to review what’s in the cellar and pull out some favorites that are ready to enjoy and replace them with the new stuff. Here we present two excellent wines from our two favorite mountain appellations.

Going In

O’Shaughnessy 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet 

DdV: 94
WS: n/a
WE: n/a
Price: $70.00
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 5% St. Macaire, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Source: Howell Mountain (Napa), California

As our readers well know, we’re huge O’Shaughnessy fans and have been for many years. This wonderful old school Bordeaux style blend is a historical throw back as we mentioned in our discussion of the Lost Grapes of Bordeaux. For this vintage, the Carménère varietal was not included. Other changes include less Cab, more St. Macaire, more Petit Verdot, Malbec and less Merlot. While we still love this wine, we feel the subtraction of Merlot, Cab, and omission of Carménère makes it harder and less refined than the 2008. This vintage is not ready for drinking now and will need a minimum of 1 year in the cellar if not two (even if you’re like us and like young big wines).

On the nose, a surprising subtle floral quality greets you along with dark berry and ample dark currant and bits of spice. The mid is lush and full with dark blackberry, plum, and currant. The finish is “all day” long with bright mineral, brambly tannins and cedar. This wine will cellar as long as you wish: at least 10-12 years.

Coming Out

Meadowcroft 2005 Mt. Veeder Cabernet

DdV: 95
WS: 84
WE: 94
Price: $56.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet
Source: Mount Veeder (Napa), California

Honestly, we have no idea what Wine Spectator was smoking when they gave this an 84 on release. Going back to my notes, I had this as a 93 at release with a projection of 93/94 upon aging. I was wrong too! Even better which is why it gets a classic 95.

Even after 7+ years in the cellar, this is a huge wine. Big bold tannins, lush mouth feel, complex flavors and structure are the highlights. On the nose, dark currant and bold mountain berries begin your experience. On the mid, lush opulent blackberry, cassis, currant and hints of plum give way to a hint of earth, mineral and oak on the long refined finish. An outstanding effort from noted winemaker Tom Meadowcroft.