Moone-Tsai, Mountain Red, Bordeaux Red Blend, Howell Mountain, 2014
| ABV 14.7%
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A merlot-led Bordeaux blend, this wine is a striking expression of what Howell Mountain can do. The grapes for this wine were grown in an east-facing hillside Howell Mountain vineyard perched 2100 feet above the Napa Valley floor, and from the remarkable Las Posadas Vineyard located just outside the Rancho. The terraced vineyard is planted on an extreme slope, producing thick-skinned clusters capable of creating a wine with intensity, structure, elegance and weight. True to the storied upper reaches of Howell Mountain, flavours of ripe blackberry, black tea and peppercorn give way to a rustic mid-palate, with a pleasing acidity, and notable structure in-play. Aged 26 months in French Oak, the wine’s oak framing reveals what comes when skilled handling is deftly applied to fruit from this heralded appellation. The result reveals a teasing, but feisty and focused Hillside Blend, whose muscularity and nimbleness present a beguiling, layering of juxtapositions.