Herb Lamb, Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, 2014
| ABV 14.4%
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The 2013 / 14 winter was one of the driest on record in California but heavy rains in late February followed by a warm, frost-free spring led to an abundant crop of extremely high quality grapes. The 2014 HL Cabernet Sauvignon is more fruit forward than 2013 with sweet, ripe fruit flavours and lovely, graphite back bone. The nose shows seamless, pure fruit and sweet tobacco leaf highlighted by dark berry and black cherry with cocoa hints and ripe blue and red fruit. In the mouth, the wine is lean and crisp, yet focused and plush, showing ripe, fresh blackberry and cherry fruit and dark, bittersweet Bakers cocoa. The entry is velvety, with fine tannins well integrated into the wine, chalky but not astringent, reflecting the 80% new French oak used for aging. While very approachable on release, it is still big, bold and expressive and made for the long haul. The structure, weight and depth of flavours in this wine will allow it to age gracefully for a good decade to come.