howell at the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

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Vintage Notes

 Because of very ;ow yields we combined our best gapes from the home and knoll vineyard i 2015

Our third drought year in a row began with mild temperatures and little rainfall, allowing the soil to warm early and the vines to budburst weeks before normal. While it’s great to get an early start, the new shoots can be exposed to frost, and flowering occurs during more variable early spring weather. Cold, rain, or even just rapidly changing temperatures can interrupt pollination and set. With fewer flowers laid down the year before due to drought, any loss at flowering further reduces an already smaller than average crop. We saw our yields down by about a third, mostly due to a cold weather front that came trough during flowering. Intermittent rainstorms all spring long gave us just enough rainfall once again, enough for us to farm but not enough to relieve the drought statewide. The growing season saw rolling heat and cool waves, with just a few very hot spells. We had a few welcome light rains in September, welcome at least for Cabernet Sauvignon, that kept the canopy active and healthy, and  warm weather followed immediately to dry the fruit out. As with 2013 and 2014, the low soil moisture kept the grape berries extremely small and thick skinned, which gave us wine of intensity and complexity. This was our earliest harvest to date.

 

 

About Howell at the Moon

In 2000, after two years of searching for a vineyard homesite on Howell Mountain in Angwin California, (finally) a property became available that had one owner since the mid 1920s. The 21 acre parcel had an existing red brick farmhouse, and was planted to grow apples and walnuts. After a period of due diligence, my first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard of 3.5 acres was planted the following spring. A second vineyard was planted in Spring of 2004 on a site 100 feet higher than my earlier vineyard at 2000 ft above the valley and referred to as the Knoll. Every aspect of the wine making process from the fruit picked in my vineyard to production and barrel storage has been researched with no expense spared to be able to offer Howell Mountain single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to the most critical wine aficionado.

Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes

 

            Sweet and savory, dark and lush, the wine entices with clove, nutmeg, and black fruit scents. Black cherry, sweet tobacco and chocolate greet the palate accompanied by brambly blackberry fruit, while smooth tannins carry the black currant and chocolate through the long round finish. While it will improve in the cellar, it is supple and generous enough to be enjoyed now.

Winemaking

 

 

Harvest Dates October 3rd

Brix 26.5

pH 3.86

40 days on the skins from crush to press including:

a 4 day cold soak with daily pumpovers at which point it began a natural fermentation pH 3.86

40 days on the skins from crush to press including:

a 4 day cold soak with daily pumpovers at which point it began a natural fermentation

an 18 day fermentation with twice daily aerative pumpovers

extended maceration for an additional 18 days on the skins

Aged for 19 months in 100% French Oak, 80% new, Taransaud, Sylvain, Bel Air, Gamba, all center of France, 2 and 3 year air dried, medium plus, medium long and heavy toasted barriques.

Bottled August 17th, 2017, 198 cases produced. ABV14.9%

Unfined and Unfiltered

 

 

an 18 day fermentation with twice daily aerative pumpovers

extended maceration for an additional 18 days on the skins

Aged for 19 months in 100% French Oak, 80% new, Taransaud, Sylvain, Bel Air, Gamba, all center of France, 2 and 3 year air dried, medium plus, medium long and heavy toasted barriques.

Bottled August 17th, 2017, 198 cases produced. ABV14.9%

Unfined and Unfiltered

 

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