Deep ruby-purple color; plum, cherry, tobacco leaf on the nose; black cherry, blackcurrant, baked plum, black fruits, black pepper on the palate.
Dry; rich, full, chewy. After first sip on pop-and-pour I deployed my Menu decanter to great advantage. The longer this sits in glass the more approachable it becomes. By third glass—and more than an hour of age in glass, even after the decanting—it flagrantly presents decadent, rich fruit deliciousness. Wine is 99% cabernet sauvignon, 1% petit verdot. It spend 26 months in oak, 65% new French, the remainder once used and neutral oak; 12 months in bottle before release. It is by no means an oak-dominated pour.
Don’t rush quality Napa cabs. They seldom are one-dimensional, rip-the-clothes-off and get it on sippers. Summit Lake Emily Kestrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon rewards foreplay in the glass, becomes subtle, seductive, pliant with a measured and paced sipping. I paired it with slow cooked, fall-off-the-bone Dorper rack of lamb. I do not know how meals gets better than this. Velvety, lingering finish; 15% ABV—but the plush fruits muffle the expected back-of-the-throat burn. Very well played, Summit Lake. Very well played.
Bob and Sue Brakesman established Summit Lake in 1971. It is a small, family-owned and operated winery located high above the Napa Valley on Howell Mountain. Distinctive red soils and its micro-climate are ideal for cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, and zinfandel. All Summit Lake wines are estate-produced. This is Napa terroir at its distinctive best. The winery asserts “this is hand-crafted wine from dirt to bottle.” Yep, got it. If you have a chance, you should get it, too.
Summit Lake Emily Kestrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain 2016 is Howell Mountain Napa royalty that rewards patience in the glass. Rich, fruits. Medium-full body. Decadently delicious long finish. Pair with slow-cooked lamb; grilled, leaner red meats; pork tenderloin and pork medallions; duck; charcuterie with aged cheeses. $88