Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Atlas Peak Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon  (Howell Mountain)

Atlas Peak Vineyards

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Howell Mountain ~ Napa Valley)

Inky black, as you would expect from Howell Mountain grown fruit, this is a big, dark wine with black fruit and also, as one would anticipate, tar, licorice and dried sage aromas (the latter, a smell increasingly synonymous with Howell Mountain Cabs). But in the mouth, the wine is smooth, finesseful and velvet-like but with that Howell power packing a punch.

This is one of the wines in Atlas Peak Winery’s “high elevation” Cabernet program (See related story and review of the Spring Mountain Cab). Of the four wines, it is the one with the most of everything. It’s simply gorgeous and young with big, big tannins. One would be strongly advised to hold it three years or so and then enjoy it over the ensuing 25 years.

The wine spent 18 months in 100 percent new French oak barrels (one of a decreasing number of Napa Valley Cabs to do so). The listed alcohol is 13.9 percent (conversely, one of an increasing number of valley Cabs to fall under the 14 percent mark), and there were only 287 cases produced.

Reviewed November 22, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

Other reviewed wines from Atlas Peak Vineyards


The Wine

Winery: Atlas Peak Vineyards
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Howell Mountain ~ Napa Valley
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (98%), Petit Verdot (2%)
Price: 750ml $85.00

Review Date: 11/22/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.