2016 Castiel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Castiel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

by JJ Buckley Fine Wines


2016 Castiel Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

On Sale: $174.94  (was: $189.94)*

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Napa has no shortage of high profile winemakers, but few have generated the same level of excitement as Celia Welch. As the winemaker at Scarecrow, Welch’s structured, textural style of Cabernet became an instant classic when it debuted. While that label is now priced into the stratosphere ($650+) her newest project from Castiel Estate, up on Howell Mountain, presents a terrific opportunity to jump in on the ground floor with “one of Napa Valley's most admired winemakers” (Wine Spectator). With only 250 cases produced, and Celia Welch’s sterling track record, this one is likely to disappear fast!

High up on Howell Mountain, Castiel Estate produces only one Cabernet from a vineyard managed by Jim Barbour (Hundred Acre, Hourglass). Today’s 2016 is only the third release of Castiel Estate Cabernet, but it’s already an “impressive start” (Wine Advocate)! 2016 was near the end of California’s long drought, and the Napa Cabs, particularly those from mountain vineyards, are modern day legends in this “viscerally thrilling” vintage (Vinous). Howell Mountain is one of Napa’s most iconic terroirs, and the cool but sunny microclimate produces smaller, ultra concentrated fruit and massively proportioned and long lived wine. Nevertheless Welch has coaxed an elegance out of this sustainably farmed mountain vineyard, and this is an exceptional modern day Cabernet for the cellar. Cheers!

95+ points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a slightly broody nose to begin, offering glimpses at damp earth, charcoal and underbrush scents over a core of warm cassis, blackberry pie and black raspberries with touches of pencil lead and dried Provence herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has bold freshness and a myriad of earthy sparks, framed by ripe grainy tannins, finishing long with tons of bright, crunchy black fruit. 250 cases were made. This is my first time tasting this new project high up on Howell Mountain with winemaker Celia Welch and WOW—what an impressive start! ...A vineyard to watch!"

94 points, Jeb Dunnuck: "Showing similar to last year, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a terrific wine offering full-bodied aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, incense, and gravelly minerality. Pure, balanced, and elegant, it’s a terrific wine that will keep for two decades."

*Offer publication date January 22, 2021. Pricing and availability subject to change.