- Producer: Arkenstone Estate Winery - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Sam Kaplan
- Region (AVA): Napa Valley (Howell Mountain)
- Blend: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot, 2% Malbec
- Vintage production: 700 cases
- Winery location: Howell Mountain
- Owners: Ron & Susan Krausz
- First vintage: 2006
- Drinking window: 2018-2038
About The Wine
The Estate Red is the ﬂagship wine of Arkenstone, and made in the Bordeaux style, utilizing each of the ﬁve red varietals. The composition of the Estate Red changes with each vintage, but Cabernet Sauvignon is always dominant.
Aside from the Cabernet Sauvignon, most of the red varietals are planted on steep southwest facing slopes at up to a 50% grade. Due to these steep hillsides, the vines beneﬁt from excellent natural airﬂow and drainage. The Cabernet Sauvignon sits at the top of the estate and thus is not prone to prolonged water retention.
At Arkenstone the red varietals are planted predominantly in iron-rich red clay/loam which is speckled with large volcanic rocks. The soil itself is nutrient deﬁcient and the presence of volcanic rock provides optimal drainage. These factors result in vines that are constantly struggling to produce fruit. Having the fruit struggle naturally helps to produce a more concentrated, but balanced crop.
Arkenstone Howell Mountain Estate Red 2018
"Flirting with perfection, the 2018 Estate Red is an off-the-hook beauty based on 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Malbec and Merlot. Full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, and both powerful and elegant, it offers a captivating bouquet of chocolate covered blue fruits, bay leaf/bouquet garni, violets, and candied orange zest. I’d be happy to drink a bottle today, but smart money will give it 2-3 years of bottle age."
98 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2021)
"The 2018 Howell Mountain Estate Red Blend is composed of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot and 2% Malbec. It was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sashays out of the glass with gregarious scents of red and black cherries, cassis and ripe plums plus nuances of lilacs, pencil lead, tree bark and black olives. Full-bodied, it has a solid structure of ripe, fine-grained tannins with great freshness lifting the dense fruit to a long, wonderfully pure finish. 700 cases were made."
98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Jan. 2021)