2008 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon

Year: 2008
Appellation: Rutherford, Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 88
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
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"Firm mineral, cedar and dusty earth notes frame the ripe currant, plum and blackberry scents. Full-bodied, intense and concentrated, gaining depth and nuance on the long, potent finish. Drink now through 2022. 2,800 cases made." (WS)

"An attractive dark ruby/purple color is followed by black currant, spice box and loamy soil (often referred to as Rutherford dust) aromas. Medium to full-bodied with good purity, soft tannins and an up-front style, the wine’s balance and depth should insure at least 15 years of graceful drinking." (WA)

"Ripe and creamy, this has a toffee flavor from its barrel aging. The fruit veers toward ripe summer red cherries and blackberries. Forward and brash now—this is still young. Give it until 2016 or so to begin developing bottle complexity." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Our 2008 Hewitt Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon brims with sumptuous layers of crème de cassis, brambly olallieberry, black cherry and satsuma plum. Nuances of black licorice, chocolate, rum raisin, mineral and sweet vanilla-oak and clove spices weave through the dark-fruit expression of the aromas and then persist on the rich, long black-cherry finish. “This wine’s dynamic tannins are built for distance,” says Winemaker Tom Rinaldi. “We fermented part of the wine in new French oak barrels to produce plusher, more integrated tannins, while keeping its great structure and aging potential.”

Tom selected rows of his favorite vines within Hewitt Vineyard to make this single-vineyard bottling. These vines were planted in the well-drained soils of this renowned spot on the Rutherford Bench in 1992 and 1996 and budded to Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 for flavor diversity and concentration. We hand harvested the grapes at dawn from mid-September to mid-October, as each section reached optimum ripeness.

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. This gentle process resulted in about 70 percent whole berries for the fermentation. Three to five days of cold soaking and 30 to 45 days of extended maceration developed the rich varietal character. During in-barrel malolactic fermentation, we stirred the wine (bâtonnage) to meld flavors and round acidity, and then we clarified the wine with three rackings during barrel aging. The wine was bottled unfined.

The 2008 growing season presented its fair share of challenges for California’s winemakers, yet this Cabernet Sauvignon proves that Napa Valley was blessed—once again—with many truly remarkable wines. Mother Nature’s mood vacillated between agreeable and moody, yet she provided enough ideal days for the grapes to reach full maturity.