Howell Mountain is one of the most remote, severe AVAs in the Napa Valley and the Candlestick Ridge vineyard is further removed, sitting n the summit ridge on the northernmost point of the mountain.
Galloni enjoyed this one,“dense, powerful and super-concentrated. The unctuous, flamboyant style stands apart from the rest of the other wines in this range....The blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, sweet oak and spice flavors offer tons of richness and pure power.”
“The Stick” represents the discipline in a world of carrots and sticks. Bend this powerful wine to your whim.
Back in 1992, when Robert Craig founded his eponymous winery, wines from the mountain appellations of Mount Veeder, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain, and Diamond Mountain weren’t nearly as fashionable as they are today, or as polished and drinkable. Craig was a visionary in a sense, not only because he recognized the inherent value of mountain fruit, but because he insisted on making wines that could also show well on release. No easy task. Even today the vineyard team at Robert Craig works hard to make sure every row they’re picking is optimally ripe, a key factor in avoiding tannic, green wines. Our hat is off to them and to Stephen Tebb for making such beautiful reds.
This carries a very toasty and spicy edge that makes for a modern impression on the nose with brightly ripe blue fruit as the central theme. The palate has a very polished, fresh and energetic feel with ripe blackberry and blueberry flavors holding long and fresh. A blend of 65 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 30 per cent merlot and five per cent malbec. Drink or hold.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Stick, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend with a dollop of Malbec, is dense, powerful and super-concentrated. The unctuous, flamboyant style stands apart from the rest of the other wines in this range. Frankly, I find the 2016 a bit overblown. The blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, sweet oak and spice flavors offer tons of richness and pure power, but there is less personality and character than is found in the other wines in this range.