The 2009 Assassin retained the characteristics of the 2008 vintage, striking the perfect balance between the rich fruit and signature tannins of the Howell Mountain juice. Spicy black fruit on the nose.


Blueberry, black cherry dark chocolate and vanilla notes mingle on the mid-palate, giving way to a long finish, enhanced by the velvety tannins.

Growing Conditions

Ink Grade Vineyard, Howell Mountain

Ink Grade is located east of Calistoga, atop the Vaca Range on the east side of Howell Mountain. The 200 acre site sits above the inversion layer, the high elevation causing cooler daytime temperatures and slightly warmer evening temperatures than those of the valley floor. The soil consists of rich red clay and decomposed volcanic ash – a combination poor in nutrients and able to retain very little water. The result is stressed vines, producing small berries with deeply structured spice notes and robust tannins. Yields are limited to 2 to 2.5 tons per acre.


September 25, 2009


24 months in 50% new French oak.