2001 Hewitt "Inaugural Release" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1009034 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 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. *Cellar Selection*  (10/2004)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 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.  (8/2004)

93 points Wine Spectator

 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)  (9/2004)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 No tasting note given.  (12/2004)


 Warm, intense, spicy aromas with sweet cassis-fruit scents. Velvety mouthful with sweet, jammy fruit, edgy tannins and creamy oak. But youthful.  (1/2005)

K&L Notes

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."

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.