2013 Vintage Notes
In 2013 we returned to drought and the driest spring on record. Dry soils and warm weather led to an earlier than normal budbreak, steady growth throughout the season aided by judicious irrigation and an early harvest. There were two heat spikes in August and September, but neither had the heat or duration to inflict damage or delay. We had a few light rains in September, but these were a relief to dry vines and exhausted aquifers. The low soil moisture and humidity kept the grape berries extremely small and thick skinned. All October there was a threat of a major storm “about five days out” that by November never materialized. We had the rare luxury of waiting as long as we liked, and picked our vineyard over a week, finishing a full 12 days earlier than usual. This is a remarkable vintage that has produced equally tremendous wines.
2013 Howell Mountain Tasting Notes
Intensely perfumed, the aromas unfold in a bouquet of fresh raspberries, vanilla, rose petals and bright cherries. Sumptuous and smooth, the palate is overflowing with boysenberry, grilled peach and cherry flavors, bound together with distinct minerality, and framed by hints of brown sugar, baking spices, and roasted walnut. The wine draws you back again and again with velvety power, rich fruit, bound by completely integrated tannins. While it will improve for years in the cellar, it can be enjoyed in the near term.