2005 Hartwell "Estate Reserve" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1051058 95 points Wine Spectator

 Has amazing depth and purity of flavor. Ultrarich, ripe and concentrated, with layers of black cherry, blackberry, currant and spicy, toasty hazelnut-scented oak. Intense and focused, with deep, persistent flavors and well-structured tannins.  (6/2008)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is an impressive wine from Hartwell. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is rich, powerful, almost atypically juicy and thick for a Stags Leap AVA, and a modest 14.1% natural alcohol. Nevertheless, there is serious concentration, real density, power and loads of complexity just beginning to emerge. This is a terrific wine, one of the best wines I’ve ever tasted from Hartwell. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. (RP) 94+  (6/2015)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, glass-staining ruby. Nose begins medicinal and backward, more reminiscent of Bordeaux than Napa Valley, then opens with air to show black raspberry and graphite. Initially tightly coiled, serious and tannic but turned creamier and sweeter with air, revealing very fresh flavors of redcurrant, bitter cherry and spices. Ultimately every bit as lush and sweet as the 2004 version but with more inner-palate energy and tannic spine. But this one calls for at least a couple years of cellaring. These two wines clearly display the best attributes of their respective vintages. 92(+?) points  (6/2008)

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Price: $119.99
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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 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.