Wine of the Day April 18, 2015

2012SaladinCS2012 Saladin Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley.
This brand new release from Saladin is an outstanding deeply colored and flavored Cabernet with a purple/black core, wild spice and ripe flowing layers from a tiny sloping vineyard on the famous Howell Mountain, it is hard not to love this new California wine. A new and sensational effort by a father and son team that were inspired by the wines of Randy Dunn, this Saladin Howell Mountain is a big and rich Cabernet that shows the quality of the vintage and the unique Howell Mountain terroir with tangy currant, cassis, plum and blackberry fruit, smoky oak sweetness, briar spice, pipe tobacco and acacia flowers. A tannic backbone and restrained alcohol, under 14%, and generous body make this a wonderful Cabernet to enjoy now and for many years to come, if you are looking for a great small production Napa Cab, only a few barrels made, that is not $200 a bottle, you should be looking at Saladin’s latest Howell Mountain, it’s a winner! This wine fills out nicely on the palate, good solid feel, density and it has a wonderfully long and complex finish with peppery lavender, sage, vanilla and mocha notes along with lingering blueberry. There looks to be a long drinking window here, but I wouldn’t be afraid to enjoy it in it’s youth either, though it should pick up more interesting detail and refinement in a few years, drink from 2016 to 2026.
($65 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive