2009 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
91 Points: many nuances emerge from this beautiful, powerful mountain Cabernet Sauvignon” Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
||Bold Red Wine
Our 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is abundant in fragrant, ever-changing aromatics of concentrated dark fruit notes laced with cinnamon, forest floor and sweet cocoa. The palate is awakened with a full-bodied richness and texture giving a layered mouthfeel balanced with a lifted acidity. Lingering, complex tannins broaden out the finish to display the formidable structure and power of this Cabernet Sauvignon. Although quite approachable now, bottle ageing will further develop the bouquet and complexity. This wine possess immense concentration and power while retaining sublime elegance and will continue to age superbly over the next two decades.
Mustard-Seed-Crusted Prime Rib Roast with Dijon Créme Fraîche and Roasted Balsamic Onions
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup prepared white horseradish
- 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, divided
- 4 medium onions, cut into 3/4-inch wedges with some core attached
- 5 very large shallots (about 1 pound), quartered through root end
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional (for sprinkling)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 9 1/2-pound bone-in standing prime rib roast, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 cups low-salt beef broth
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley
Using electric mixer, beat crème fraîche and cream in medium bowl to firm peaks. Fold in horseradish and 1/3 cup mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled. Rewhisk before serving.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss onions, shallots, vinegar, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt in large bowl. Sprinkle roast lightly with coarse salt and generously with pepper. Stir 2/3 cup mustard and garlic in small bowl; rub over roast. Place roast, bone side down, in roasting pan. Sprinkle mustard seeds over, pressing to adhere. Roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Arrange onion mixture around roast. Return to oven; roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 120°F, stirring onion mixture occasionally, about 2 1/4 hours for medium-rare.
Transfer roast to work surface. Tent with foil; let rest 30 minutes. If necessary, increase oven temperature to 450°F and return onion mixture to roasting pan and roast until deep brown and very tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add brandy; stir 30 seconds. Whisk in broth and remaining 1 teaspoon mustard; boil until reduced to 1 1/4 cups jus, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season jus with salt and pepper. Slice roast; arrange on platter. Spoon onions around roast. Sprinkle parsley over. Pass Dijon crème fraîche and jus alongside.
There are two basic ways to carve the roast.
What to Drink
- 1. Cut between the bones. This method yields generous portions and makes for a dramatic-looking presentation.
- 2. Cut the rack off the meat, working as close to the bone as possible. You'll have a boneless roast that can be cut into thin or thick slices.
The king of roasts meets its match in the king of wines. Dijon mustard's pleasant sharpness softens Cabernet's big tannins. With the roast, try a California Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine's spice and blackberry flavors are perfect with the beef.
An organically certified vineyard, Ink Grade is located on the eastern side of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 1800 feet. At this elevation with its steep slopes and volcanic tufa soils, root growth is restricted resulting in Ink Grade Vineyard’s hallmark small berries with intense fruit flavors, structure and robust tannins that makes wines from this vineyard so unique. To further enhance this wines incredibly rich layers of complexity a precise addition of our elegant Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon was made, balanced with a little lift from our Carneros Merlot which brings a unique harmony and adds even more depth and complexity.
Have you heard that every year is the same here in the Napa Valley? Don’t you believe it! After the drama of the 2008 vintage with its roller coaster of weather-related challenges, we enjoyed a remarkably mild, blissfully uneventful 2009 growing season. That is until “Mother Nature” tossed us a curveball mid-October. We had the heaviest rainfall since the early 80’s. This caused some concern, but for the most part, the tough-skinned, loose-clustered varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon weathered the storm. Beautiful Indian summer weather followed the rainy, humid conditions, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. Presence of forward, bright fruit flavors with varietal character and phenological ripeness of the tannins was achieved without excessive ripeness. The corresponding wines have beautiful ripe fruit aromatics and flavors and are impeccably balanced with good acidity and alcohol levels.