2001 Hewitt "Inaugural Release" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* An inaugural release from Chalone Wine Group, and an important one. Possesses the hallmarks of greatness, from the subtle but complex mingling of cassis, cherry, herb, tobacco, mint and dark chocolate flavors to the fabulously ripe, sweet tannins. Big and sturdy yet nuanced, this wine is gorgeous now and should last many years in the cellar.
**Two Stars** As full and plush as any recommended Cabernet in this issue, the Hewitt bottling is expansive in aroma and mouthfilling where it counts. Its outgoing ripe grape, cassis, caramel, forest and cocoa scents are reiterated in flavors that are convincing in their deep, inviting fruit. Tannins frame the latter palate and finish, and if the wine is a little on the soft front/tough back side in construct, it needs but a half dozen years of aging to show at its best with savory roasts and chops.
Sleek, rich and concentrated, with a purity of flavors that are tight and focused, with tiers of currant, blackberry, cedar, anise and fresh loamy earth, finishing with a long, complex, persistent aftertaste and ripe integrated tannins. (JL)
Wine & Spirits
No tasting note given.
Warm, intense, spicy aromas with sweet cassis-fruit scents. Velvety mouthful with sweet, jammy fruit, edgy tannins and creamy oak. But youthful.
K&L's notes - The Hewitt Vineyard is devoted exclusively to the production of estate Cabernet Sauvignon from an extraordinary Napa Valley property. This 2001 (the inaugural public release), opens with an aroma of violets, then unfolds its richness in the mouth, with juicy ripe plum, rich olive, and round tobacco fruit, graced by just a hint of oak graham, which serves to further frame the fruit and push it forward. The wine is fleshy and well integrated, and thus a bit on the subtle side. According to winemaker Tom Rinaldi. "We already have plenty of in-your-face wines. I didn't want that. I want a polite wine, one that is neither aggressive nor abrasive. You get tired of all that unbridled energy of some of these Cabernets that are undisciplined, a bit over-the-top. Ours is an intellectual wine, one that requires a little effort on your part to fully appreciate. It is complex enough so that there's lots to uncover."