95 points - limited
A blockbuster small-production Napa Cabernet from Howell Mountain - very limited.
95 Points Robert Parker: "The sensational 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (which is reasonably priced, given how superb it is) is her largest cuvée of just under 3,300 cases. It is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest tiny quantities of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Petit Verdot, and a real head scratcher, St. Macaire. Inky purple to the rim, with notes of white flowers, licorice, forest floor and graphite, this wine exhibits classic mulberry, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit notes, some background, vague oak, a full-bodied, beautifully proportioned mouthfeel, and a layered finish. Like most 2014s, it can be drunk now, but it has at least two decades of cellaring potential...
...Betty O’Shaughnessy bought her property on Howell Mountain in 1996, and ever since 1999 has had the very talented Sean Capiaux making her wines. Her vineyards on Howell Mountain sit at a high elevation of just under 2000 feet in the red, rocky, volcanic soils the area is known for. I have always been a big fan of these wines, as they are full-flavored but incredibly pure and well-balanced, and that has continued with her bevy of 2014s."
The third vintage of Dave Phinney's Disciples Red, the 2015 has arrived. The new Prisoner! Limited.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The Disciples Proprietary Blend, which is made from 93% Zinfandel and 7% Petite Sirah tips the scales at 15.7% alcohol. The Zinfandel plantings date from the 1880s and were better known as the source for Biale’s Old Crane Zinfandel. This wine displays spicy, peppery steak tartare, roast Provençal herbs, and briary black cherry and blackberry fruit. It has terrific body, length, richness and viscosity. It is a sensational Zinfandel to drink over the next 5-7 years."
From the new winery The Crane Assembly, the Disciples Red has quite a back story. In August of 2012, four friends (Dave Phinney, Darryl Browman, Kevin A. Fox and Bryan D. Sandoli) stood in the middle of a block of hundred year old Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted by George Beldon Crane in the late nineteenth century and is one of the icons of the Napa Valley. Hours earlier they had signed the paperwork to buy the vineyard and it was just in the nick of time...they picked the grapes the next morning. Since that first year wines were made from our G.B. Crane Vineyard under the el Coco label and the GB Crane label.