I believe Napa Valley's 2013 vintage is the best of the past 10 years, says Winemaker Trevor Durling. "Our 2013 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and muscular, with great texture and density on the palate." The expansive aromas and flavors exude sumptuous blackberry, Satsuma plum, black cherry and cassis expression, layered with nuances of bittersweet chocolate, rum raisin, roasted espresso bean and sun-warmed rose. There is also an elusive chaparral note that reminds us of an August hike in the golden California hills. This is truly a wine that speaks to both the personality of Hewitt Vineyard and the outstanding, warm and dry 2013 vintage. Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon is very age-worthy, however, if you can't wait to drink it, we suggest decanting to allow the flavors to evolve and reveal their great complexity and elegance.
The 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest fostering intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines crowned the vintage.
This outstanding vineyard site on the Rutherford Bench has yielded grapes for many celebrated Napa Valley wines since 1880. The current vines were planted in the well-drained alluvial soils in 1992 and 1996 and budded to Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 for flavor diversity and concentration. Hewitt Vineyard has the advantage of being close to the Mayacamas Mountains for sloping elevation, but not so close that the vines are shaded in the afternoon.
We hand sorted the grapes on tables twice: first as clusters to remove any leaves or inferior fruit and then, after destemming, as individual grapes. A portion of the must was fermented in new French oak barrels to integrate the tannins and enhance the plush texture of the wine. Three to five days of cold soaking before fermentation, followed by extended skin contact, developed the rich varietal character. Battonage (stirring) during malolactic fermentation in the barrel rounded acidity and softened the tannins. Three rackings during barrel aging naturally clarified the wine, and after blending, we bottled this perfectly balanced wine without fining.
21 months in 100% French Oak, 85% new barrels