At the northeastern side of?Napa Valley?s Vaca Range, the Howell Mountain appellation peaks at 2,500 feet. Our estate W.S. Keyes Vineyard was planted in 1888, and has been the exclusive source for the Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon since its first vintage in 1995. The vineyard sits at 1,825 feet, high above the fog line, where temperatures are cool but moderate, and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular thrives with extra time to ripen. The vines bask in a steady breeze and sunlight, surrounded by a forest of ponderosa pine. Lean, quick-draining soils force the vines to struggle, yielding small grapes that possess deep, concentrated flavor with a signature minerality and earthy undertone.
Notions of earth, mushrooms, underbrush, black cherries, and charcoal intermixed with good minerality characterize the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain. The most backward and austere of this quartet, this Keyes Vineyard (formerly the Liparita Vineyard) cuvee is full-bodied, but broodingly tannic.