Ladera Vineyards - 2004 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

The last wine I'm looking at from Ladera at this time is also a single vineyard offering. It's noteworthy that in addition to the Cabernets I've covered they make several other varietals. Considering the quality of these wines, the others are likely worth drinking as well. The 2004 Ladera Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% varietal and all from the same vineyard. 50% of the wine was aged in new French oak for 21 months. The remainder spent time in one, two or three year old French oak barrels. 3,000 cases of this offering were produced and the suggested retail price is $70.

This is a wine with a tremendously dark hue to it. Of the 3 Ladera the Howell Mountain has the most floral nose. Violet notes lead the way, accompanied by berries and cedar. From the first taste, the Howell Mountain Cabernet is chock full of dark, brooding fruit. Throughout the wines palate chocolate notes abound. Again those notes are more prominent than in the other Cabernets from Ladera. Earthiness in the long, luxurious finish is subtle but emerges nicely as the wine opens up along with spice notes. This wine has terrific acidity and a big, tight tannic structure. More so than the other Ladera Cabernets this one really needs to breathe. Match it up with a big, bold meal if you're drinking it now.

The Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet is a big, hefty, chewy wine. It's a delicious wine, but time in the bottle will serve it well. My recommendation would be to put a couple of these away and forget about them for 5 years or so and then enjoy for quite a few years after that. I liked each of the Ladrea wines I tasted a lot for different reasons. The Howell Mountain is likely the most age worthy. As with the other 2 it over delivers in it's price point.

Up Next: A couple of wines from Oregon's Adelsheim Vineyard.

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