K&L Wines USD 64.99 750ml

Spence Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2004

Member Review by Daniel Dawson:

Spence is the vineyard and wine owner's last name, and Marco DiGuilio makes the wine. Only 192 cases made. I dig the quintessential "Mountain Cab." Nose is anise, black pepper, semi-dried raspberries, currant and earth. Flavors hit with fruit like mulberry and blueberry. Tannins are ample yet fine. Expensive oak flavors emerge on the finish (sweet toasty oak, malt, vanilla bean...) Drinks quite nicely now with a half hour of deep breathing. Definitely better to cellar.

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Spence Vineyards:
This venture began with our passion for this place. We did not start the process the same way many wineries have. We lived here for several years before planting a single vine so that we might understand the particular dynamics of growing at this location. We brought the property back to life from a neglected state. Pruning the overgrown 40-year-old table grape vineyard while renovating the fr... Read more
This venture began with our passion for this place. We did not start the process the same way many wineries have. We lived here for several years before planting a single vine so that we might understand the particular dynamics of growing at this location. We brought the property back to life from a neglected state. Pruning the overgrown 40-year-old table grape vineyard while renovating the fruit orchard. We would recover more than 50 fruit trees. To test our own commitment to the craft of winemaking, and to learn the process, we began buying small lots of grapes to make home wine. Our first Cabernet began as a winning bid at the Howell Mountain Elementary School benefit auction. We assisted an experienced winemaker in making the wine from that lot of grapes. The next year, with the help of friends, we bought more grapes and made the wine in our garage. We have fond memories of standing in the cold, tasting from the barrel, then going inside for dinner to critique the developing wine. From that first vintage, we fell in love with the challenges of winemaking, and committed to its pursuit through uncountable hours of research and viticulture and enology classes at Napa College. In that spirit we have gone on to produce a richly complex 2000 Howell Mountain Zinfandel, a classic Bordeaux style 2001 Howell Mountain Cabernet, a dense, full bodied 2002 Rutherford Merlot, and most recently a spicy fruit forward 2003 Howell Mountain Zinfandel. We will continue to make single barrel vintages of wine to learn and enjoy with family and friends. Read less

Member Reviews for Spence Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

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Snooth User: Daniel Dawson
11396514
3.00 5
12/30/2008

Spence is the vineyard and wine owner's last name, and Marco DiGuilio makes the wine. Only 192 cases made. I dig the quintessential "Mountain Cab." Nose is anise, black pepper, semi-dried raspberries, currant and earth. Flavors hit with fruit like mulberry and blueberry. Tannins are ample yet fine. Expensive oak flavors emerge on the finish (sweet toasty oak, malt, vanilla bean...) Drinks quite nicely now with a half hour of deep breathing. Definitely better to cellar.


External Reviews for Spence Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

External Review
Source: Appellation America
11/06/2008

HASH(0x19c23630)


External Review
Source: Appellation America
10/30/2008

HASH(0x27d5b660)


External Review
Source: Appellation America
10/16/2008

After just two vintages producing a Howell Mountain Cabernet, the folks at this tiny property have produced the best and most terroir-specific Cab in its short history. Winemaker Marco DiGiulio has blended the grapes from the Spence’s miniscule (one acre) vineyard and added some fruit from Dennis John’s White Cottage Vineyard next door. He manged to express the specific aromas and flavors that are inherent to Howell Mountain. Thus, we have a Spence Cabernet Sauvignon that exhibits minerality and slate from the soils and aromas of deliciously warm black fruit from the vines. Right now, that fruit is very sweet upfront but it opens to reveal a good structural backbone of fine-grained tannins and acidity. There’s some power here, as well as finesse. This is decidedly a mountain wine, so hold it for a couple of years and then drink it over the ensuing decade. The Spence vineyard, with its red volcanic soil at nearly 1,900 feet above the Napa Valley floor, has deeper soils than most other vineyards in the region. It has since been expanded to three acres. It’s situated on the knoll of a hill above a canyon that opens to the valley floor. Warm breezes create a convection effect that bathes the grapes in circulating air which is not felt a few hundred yards to either side of the vineyard. The wine was aged for 22 months in French barrels. The stated alcohol is 14.5 percent, and there were less than 200 cases produced.


External Review
Source: Appellation America
11/02/2008

HASH(0x21d64220)



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