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2018 Martin Ray Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
2018 Martin Ray Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Martin Ray
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
, Napa Valley
Howell Mountain

93 Points, Wine Spectator
92 Points, James Suckling

This superb example offers deep, chewy tannins and savory tertiary notes, with a rich midpalate.  Fresh, wild blue and black fruit with ripe Bing cherry, and subtle elderflower.  Rustic touches of olive tapenade, with layers of boysenberry and wet earth.  Supple, velvety tannins and touches of clove and graphite on the finish.  Start the grill and bring on the meats.

Howell Mountain develops an intensity and concentration of fruit unlike its other Napa counterparts.  Beautiful now and will age gracefully for another 10-15 years... that is if you can wait that long.


Candlestick Ridge Vineyard on Howell Mountain is situated at 1400 feet, planted to a combination of decomposed volcanic ash and red clay. While it receives twice as much rain as the valley floor, the soil remains dry to its porous composition. Notable vineyards that work with the fruit include Vineyard 36, Robert Craig, and Duckhorn Vineyards.


Fermented in small 4-6 ton open top fermenters, with thrice daily pump overs for cap management. Upon finishing fermentation the wine is allowed to rest on its skins for up to a month. Aged in 55% new French oak for 18 months.


From start to finish, 2018 was a very steady season, offering weather that was reminiscent of years prior to drought. Higher than average yields and excellent quality brought about a fruitful harvest beginning in late August.

Consulting Winemaker:  Keith Emerson
Varietal Composition:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation:  Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
Aging:  Aged in 55% new French oak for 18 months.
Brix:  25.1
pH:  3.75
TA:  0.56 g/100ml
Alcohol:  14.5%

Tasting Notes PDF PDF

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