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Wine Review: Hewitt Cabernet

Hewitt is not a new wine to us, but with a recent deal we’re offering on the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon I decided to revisit – and re-taste – this Napa big boy.

A closer look at Hewitt Vineyards

The vineyard that is now Hewitt was planted originally in 1880, it was one of the few that actually survived the Prohibition area and even one of the fewer that admits it did it by shipping grapes to home winemakers on the east coast (a not so technically legal practice). The property borders the original Ingelnook vineyard (now Rubicon Estate) in the Rutherford district of Napa, known for its high quality fruit and its signature ‘Rutherford dust.’ In 1962, William Hewitt – a former head of John Deer Company – from the daughter of the original vineyard owner. He immediately enlisted the help of his neighbor, Bealieau Vineyard’s winemaker, André Tchelistchef, to replant the site with Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2001, Hewitt produced its – and the vineyards – first single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

2006 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon

Hewitt produces only wine one each year – it’s single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  The goal of the wine is to highlight the storied terrior the fruit comes from only the best fruit available.  Winemaker, Tom Rinaldi, says “I get to select the exact rows I want from our spectacular vineyard.” Qualified selection such as that comes at a price to pay – low production numbers. It is a limited edition wine with production often times in the 5,000 case range.  The 2006 exhibits flavors of red currant, rustic earth, sage, and licorice. The wine is full bodied with a full fruit flavor balanced with tannins that will help the wine to continue to develop until 2016.  Receiving a rating of 92 points, Wine Spectator calls it “Intense and full-blown, rich and concentrated, with a rustic, earthy edge to the dried currant, sage and underbrush notes.”

Winemaking practices

The wine begins with an extreme selection of only the best grapes in the vineyard. The wine is typically 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but at times other grapes are blended to add complexity and body.  The grapes are destemmed before crush so at least 30% of the fruit goes through full berry primary fermentation

Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
Regularly $105, Sale $75.00 

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