2007 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
Last edited on 12/1/2012 by jrglm
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Big Bottles and Just a Little Patience
Here we go again. Yesterday we wasted over 600 words on just 420 bottles that disappeared in a little over 120 minutes. Many were shut out. For that, we apologize. Now it's time for the 93+ Big Bottle makeup.
Few vintages in the last couple of decades wowed Parker and Wine Spectator as did the extravagant growing season of 2007. Up and down the Silverado Trail, wineries turned out deeply concentrated, voluptuous Cabernets, filled with blackberry jam, cloaked in crème-de- cassis. But if the valley floor wines were monumental -- particularly those drawn off the rocky substrata of St. Helena and Oakville -- it would be the mountain appellations that shined brightest, none more so than the fine volcanic soils of Howell Mountain.
There was just one problem with the top 2007s from the greatest addresses on Howell -- the rapidity with which buyers consumed them. That long, drawn out Indian summer ripened seeds as they rarely do up here, providing for wines that weren't only immensely concentrated out of the gate, but would become unusually approachable after just a couple years in bottle. Even up here, at Pat Stotesbury's Ladera -- which shares center stage on the mountain with Dunn, O'Shaughnessy, Cade and Outpost -- where Karen Culler has fashioned a bevy of powerful, sternly structured Howell Mountain Cabernets over the last decade, Culler's 2007 was rich, powerful, sleekly structured, and built for the long haul.
We offered the 2007 Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon six months ago. In the story that spoke of Stotesbury's viticultural resolve and Culler's deft cellar touch, we suggested that buyers practice patience. While we were careful to describe the intriguing crushed black fruit aromas and the astounding small berry core of blackberry and ripe currants, we gave equal time to this monumental release's age-worthy structure. Parker suggested laying this one down for two decades. We weren't about to debate the point.
We shouldn't have wasted our time. Based on the ratings (average of 4.31 stars out of 5) and the bevy of rave member reviews, Culler's masterpiece was a hit. But, just as we imagined, after tasting one bottle, few had the patience to lay the rest down!
Today, the impatient get a reprieve -- as do those of you who missed out on that first salvo (another example of too many words and not enough wine!). For a few short hours this morning, you can lay your mitts on one of the greatest Howell Mountain Cabernets of 2007 in Big Bottles -- at a most special WineAccess makeup price.
The last 240 Magnums of the 2007 Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon are up for grabs. Parker rated it 93+ points, suggesting it would still be going strong some time in 2033 -- and that was out of 750ml bottles!