“Woah!” Ledson Howell Mountain Cab Sauv 2013

The mark of good comedy, to me, is when I laugh aloud, and not just in my head. It’s pretty cool when something forces you to articulate your thoughts, and when the “out loud” part isn’t avoidable. I love comedians at whom I more than smirk; a good belly laugh is good for the soul. The jaw-dropping moment of an event, a pick-six in football, Titus saying a new word, my wife in a dress that displays just slightly more than perhaps it should — these things cause me to audibly articulate my thoughts, and I love that.  “Woah!” I said, as I smelled the deep, rich, purple fruit nose of this wine as, after a long day, we sat down to dinner. I said it out loud. I said it and I meant it.

The more wine you taste from the same winemaker, especially one you like, the more familiar you become. The nose of this wine was like Steve’s firm handshake: firm and familiar. Though I’ve only met him once, we’ve corresponded a bit, and I’ve come to admire him a great deal. As regular readers of my writing know, Sonja and I visited the Ledson winery in Sonoma on our honeymoon, and we’ve been big fans ever since.

While this wine had me at the big, deep, rich nose, it didn’t stop there. The terroir is evident in this wine, as the brooding mountain fruit from what is one of Napa’s premier AVA’s was softened slightly at the hands of a skilled artisan. An array of flavors opened up over time, and with a quick decant, including blackberry, blueberry, deep dark cherry, and hints of refined leather. I looked at Sonja as we sat on the couch enjoying the back half of the decanter, having paired it with a roast for dinner, and told said rather casually: “I think this is one of the best wines I’ve ever had.” She looked interested: “Well, that’s certainly saying something,” she replied. I smiled an eye smile; the conversation soon returned to our children and the coming week.

I’m a fan of Ledson’s wines for a reason. If you haven’t tried them, you need to. Steve’s Cabernets will feature in my annual review of Cabernet for Food & Spirits magazine, and if you haven’t read my American Winery Guide review of Ledson Winery, it may offer you some insights into what I love not only about the Ledson winery, but about the wine industry and the people who make it what it is.  I’ll copy that below. The Ledson winery was nearly lost in the recent fires, but thankfully survived. Having communicated a bit with Steve recently, I know the damage there is significant. If you’re looking for some wines to try out for Thanksgiving, Ledson’s are always solid, and I’m still advocating for all of us to rally financially behind small, independent Napa and Sonoma producers. Ledson definitely falls into that category, and I’ve never had a bad wine from them. Please consider supporting them in the months and years to come as the valleys that make our favorite wines rebuild. As always, thanks for reading, and happy Monday friends!



American Winery Guide Review:


4 responses to ““Woah!” Ledson Howell Mountain Cab Sauv 2013

  1. I too discovered Ledson while on my honeymoon but it was back when the castle was just a foundation and we tasted out of a trailer in the back lot. Even then we fell in love immediately and Ledson is always the “special bottle” we pull out for any event…even if that is making it to Friday of a long week. To us Ledson is Sonoma and I checked their site every hour during the recent fires hoping against hope they would not go down in flames. Although we’re having to reschedule our planned trip out there this fall, I can’t wait to see them in the Spring and relegate one whole day to the Ledson experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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