I’ve greatly enjoyed this bottling in both its 2007 and 2005 vintages, but for 2008, Ladera’s Howell Mountain Cab feels dialed back, almost like it’s pulling its punches a bit. The nose offers more green vegetable and herbal notes than I’d expect, with similar character on the body. Quite tart, the herbs come on strong, leaving behind a somewhat tough, surprisingly acidic finish. There’s plenty of fruit here, but at these prices, I’m looking for a near-perfect balance and stronger finish.
B+ / $75 / laderavineyards.com