2001 Behrens & Hitchcock "The Heavyweight" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1031068 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 The Heavyweight is packaged in a ponderously thick, heavy bottle that must have been designed by orthopedic surgeons. A Bordeaux blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot, and 12% Merlot, it reveals an un-Bordeaux-like alcohol level of 15.6%. The fruit sources are all high-class vineyards, including Fortuna for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, Kenefick Ranch for the Petit Verdot, and Thorevilos for the Cabernet Sauvignon. This big, bruising offering reminds me of dry vintage port. Its style is not terribly dissimilar from two 100-point wines, the 1997 Bryant Family Vineyard and 1997 Harlan, although it does not quite have the complexity of those two efforts, hence the mid-90 point score. Amazing stuff, it boasts an unctuous texture, great density, terrific richness, and a palate-staining thickness/viscosity. Gobs of creamy black currant fruit are present in this opulent, voluptuous, over-sized, pure, unadulterated, 100% in-your-face California offering. It should drink well for 12-15 years.  (12/2003)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (a blend of 64% cabernet sauvignon and 12% each cab franc, merlot and petit verdot) Deep, saturated ruby. Liqueur-like aromas of cassis, kirsch, violet and fruit cake; verging on porty. Then dense, sweet and thick, with a distinct raisined fruit character. Huge, creamy and rich wine with uncanny flavor intensity. Finishes very long and exotic, with broad tannins and notes of bitter chocolate and tar. A distinctly unrestrained style that will be rated even higher by wine lovers who prize sheer size over shape and nuance. (ST)  (5/2004)

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Price: $99.99
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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 M├ędoc 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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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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.