Top 100 List Winemaker’s Gentle Giant
“This is a gentle giant of a wine, so packed with flavor and drenched with ripe tannins that it literally coats the palate,” declared Wine Enthusiast, granting the 2013 Mirror Howell Mountain Cabernet off Napa’s famed Cimarossa Vineyard 95 points and a “Cellar Selection” commendation. “While full bodied and richly tannic, it maintains fabulous balance, and is destined for a long life in the cellar.” A Wine Spectator Top 100 list winemaker — Rob Lawson also helped put Colgin, Bryant and Staglin on the map. Even though Rob has since passed the torch to Napa legend Kirk Venge (whose dad, Nils was the first winemaker to earn 100-points from Robert Parker), Lawson’s Midas touch is imprinted on this striking Cabernet. From “one of the all-time classics” declared Parker of 2013, calling it “the greatest vintage I have ever tasted for Bordeaux varieties in Northern California,” this is an incredible value at $99, and a mere 240 bottle are available exclusively through Wine Access.
Howell Mountain Cabernets are renowned for their powerhouse structure, and in Napa’s historic 2013 vintage, that high-altitude pedigree made for an awesomely age-worthy, architectural marvel in the 2013 Mirror, which drew upon fruit from Howell Mountain’s elite hotspot Cimarossa Vineyard. Also a favorite of Tor Kenward, Sbragia, and Beringer’s Private Reserve line, Cimarossa sits at up to 2,300 feet in elevation, the soils a mixture of rich red loam and rugged volcanic rock, forcing vines to dig deep for moisture.
If one had to blueprint a perfect growing season on Howell Mountain, you’d be hard-pressed to write a better script than 2013, as Rick Mirer told us. Mirror’s owner and former American football quarterback, Mirer has been intimately involved in Mirror and expertly chose Cimarossa for its high elevation. Despite arid conditions, the region was spared the blistering heat spikes that punctuate most growing seasons. Situated above the fog line, buffeted by cool high-elevation breezes, Cimarossa yielded fruit that marries fabulous mountain opulence with ripe tannins, while holding on to the inherent structure that will see this wine just hitting its stride around 2025.