1991 Heitz Cellar "Trailside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #902030 88 points Wine Spectator

 Well oaked, with a leathery edge to the mature currant and plum flavors. Picks up a cedary accent on the finish, where the tannins are supple and fleshy.  (11/1998)

K&L Notes

More recently reviewed by writer John Gilman, as part of a retrospective on Heitz: "Along with the brilliant 1993 vintage, the 1991 Trailside is my favorite example of this bottling that I have yet tasted from Heitz Wine Cellars. The nose on the ’91 is stunning, as it offers up a wonderfully complex mix of red and black cherries, blood orange, a nice touch of Asian spices, new leather, cigar smoke, laurel, complex soil tones and spicy wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and tangy, with excellent focus and balance, ripe, beautifully-integrated tannins, lovely purity and excellent length and grip on the tangy and multi-layered finish. This is a great bottle of Napa cabernet in the making and I would love to see how this stacks up alongside of the Martha’s Vineyard and Bella Oaks bottlings from 1991. Clearly this would have placed up near the very top of my horizontal tasting of the 1991 cabernets that I reported on last year. I would try to give it close to a decade more bottle age, as it is still decidedly more primary in its profile than the outstanding 1993 and really deserves more cellaring. 2020- 2060+. 93+." (Celebrating Fifty Years of Napa Valley Excellence" The View from the Cellar, Heitz Wine Cellars 6/2011. pg 28.)

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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. 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.
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.