2018 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
The inky dark 2018 Howell Mountain’s aromas and flavors echo its lofty terroir with an extravagant display of pine forest floor, bay laurel leaf, and California buckeye flower fragrance.
aged in French oak barrels, 35% of which were new, for twenty-one months.
Exceptional high-elevation vineyards in the Howell Mountain appellation produce intensely concentrated grapes for this wine. Soils are volcanic in origin and consist of two main types; the first is decomposed volcanic ash called tufa, and the second is red volcanic rock and clay that is high in iron. Both are nutrient poor, which stresses the vines, producing intense and structured wines from small clusters and berries. The altitude, climate, and soils combine to create a classic mountain Cabernet Sauvignon with incredible concentration, texture, and structure.
Hand harvested in the cool early morning hours, the fruit was immediately subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process, including our cutting edge optical sorter, with a goal of eliminating less-than-perfect berries. The selected fruit was gently delivered to tank via gravity by our crane system, retaining perfect, whole berries. Cold soaks lasted approximately five days, and fermentations were managed by a combination of délestage and pump overs. Extended maceration, ranging from three to four weeks, fine-tuned tannin profiles, allowing us to build structure and wine complexity.
Cassis, dark chocolate shavings, warm fig, and plum flavors form the captivating fruitier elements and nori wrapper, bone broth, and wild Chanterelle mushroom flavors lay beneath. Seamlessly integrated, with fresh acidity, fine grained tannins, this elixir will drink well in its youth, yet last a lifetime. - Christopher Tynan, Director of Winemaking