Mt. Brave is a dream project for Chris Carpenter, who knows how to coax the best wines from Mt. Veeder, Napa’s coolest mountain district known for well-drained soils and low yields. This gorgeous wine, just 25% of the price of its Lokoya neighbor.
Lots of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as classic Mount Veeder notes of lavender, violets, bouquet garni, and rocky, mineral-like notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, full-bodied mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, it has a plush, layered texture, beautiful tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. Another head-turning wine from this label, it’s a candidate for the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon out there at the price point.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Brave is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 possesses tremendous depth and tons of personality. Graphite, blue/purplish fruit, blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, sage, lavender, menthol give the 2018 tons of character to match its explosive feel. The brooding, backward wine is going to need quite a bit of time to unwind, but boy is it gorgeous.
Blackberry and chili with hints of cloves and graphite. Bitter chocolate, too. Full-bodied, very linear and tight with intense tannins that lead you down the finish. Solid structure. Needs four or five years to open up. Better after 2025.
This packs in lots of dense yet sleek blackberry, mulberry and black currant fruit flavors, while anise, sassafras and violet notes add range throughout. There's plenty of structure embedded as well, though it tilts to the zesty, acid-driven side of the ledger, further enlivening the fruit. This has a serious oak treatment, but it's very precise and fine-grained. For the cellar. Best from 2022 through 2038.
The winemaking precision of Chris Carpenter as his team is apparent across all their projects regardless of price point, making the Mt. Brave Howell Mountain particularly impressive as a relative value proposition. Soft but ripe red fruits and briar on the nose. Rich, energetic and attractively dry on the finish. Punches above its weight across all metrics of power, complexity, length, and intrigue. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec.