After a record dry year, a bone dry January led to fears of a repeat, but thirst-quenching rains in February and March gave us about half our normal annual rainfall and enough, just enough, to get through the year. The skies dried out in April, giving us a warm Spring and Summer, with a few warm spells. We had a few welcome light rains in September, at least for Cabernet Sauvignon, that kept the canopy healthy, and warm weather afterword to dry the fruit out. As with 2013, the low soil moisture kept the grape berries extremely small and thick skinned, which gave us wine of intensity and complexity. Early October remained warm and dry, and we picked before the weather turned and the rains came.
2014 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvingon Tasting Notes
Intensely perfumed, the aromas unfold in a bouquet of black raspberries,
maple syrup, and bing cherries. Sumptuous and smooth, the palate is
overflowing with boysenberry, grilled nectarine and cherry flavors, built
on understated supple structure, a distinct minerality and sucrosity, on the
palate and framed by brown sugar, baking spices, and roasted hazelnut.
The wine draws you back again and again with velvety power, rich fruit,
and completely integrated tannins. While it will improve for years in the
cellar, it can be enjoyed in the near term with decanting.