A dear friend and uber talented Sommelier, Amanda McCrossin, had the opportunity to sit down with Angelina to taste and discuss our 2016 Dark Matter Limitless Cabernet Sauvignon. Here is what she had to say:
“At first glance the 2016 Dark Matter presents as simply as a bowl of fresh picked berries on your grandma’s countertop in the early months of summer. But as bright, bouncy blackberries and boysenberries whiz across my palate and bring me back to my days I spent as a kid at my family’s lake house, it’s clear that magic exists beneath the simple veneer. Under the layers of fruit, a sweet underbrush of sage, thistle, and evergreen rises to meet my nose. It is palpable enough to make this California transplant nostalgic for her east coast home.
Fresh black and blue fruits begin to give way to floral notes. Violets, lavender, roses, and rosemary all come to mind and suddenly, I am back in California again. These notes are complimented with a little anise and a touch of ground espresso bean. There is tension, concentration, and complexity marking the handiwork of a skilled craftsman. Several swirls and sips later, the freshness and that impossible youthful glow won’t quit. Makes me think this wine could incite some jealousy from the likes of a Real Housewife on Bravo. Selfishly, I am enjoying this wine immensely despite the fact that it very clearly wants to rest a little while longer.
I keep going back to the wine over the course of 2 hours, with each sip unveiling a new, subtle layer. The 2016 presents as a strong, fresh, pure, and precise embodiment of a high-quality mountain vineyard. The tannins, while ferociously present, always allow the fruit to remain the star of this proverbial show. For all its lushness and concentration, the restraint and balance of this wine makes this a perfect embodiment of enjoy now or drink in 20 years. This is everything I want a great Howell Mountain wine to be and it’s clear this wine is in it for the long haul.”
These wines are from four Mondavi sisters – Giovanna, Riana, Alycia and winemaker Angelina – the granddaughters of Peter Mondavi Sr. It is a relatively small operation of less than 200 cases annually of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rocky Ridge Vineyard on Howell Mountain.
Many variables go into making each bottle of wine. The humbling process starts with our soil and nearly four years later makes it to your home and cellar – arguably the most important steps take place in the vineyards. Each year, Angelina works closely with our vineyard manager Jim Barbour to maintain the most strict and meticulous standards to produce the most optimal fruit our property has to offer. Our vineyard efforts combined with Angelina’s discerning French cooperage selection and winemaking techniques offers us a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals some of the best.
Today, we offer our sixth vintage of our Dark Matter Limitless grown from our parents’ Howell Mountain property, Rocky Ridge Vineyard. Picking just enough fruit for our tiny production of 160 cases, we are excited to offer you an allocation of this robust mountain cabernet.