2010 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1182787 90 points John Gilman

 I continue to be convinced that amongst the very finest values, year in and year out for cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley is the straight bottling from the Heitz family, as David Heitz really has a sweet touch with this varietal (having started out his career fashioning the legendary 1974s here!) and with great vineyard sources at his disposal. The 2010 Napa bottling is the current release from the winery and offers up a deep and utterly classic nose of red and black cherries, cigar wrapper, a nice base of soil tones, a dollop of allspice and a discreet framing of cedary new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and fairly ripe (coming in at 14.5 percent alcohol), with a lovely core, tangy acids, fine-grained tannins and excellent nascent complexity on the very long, focused and gently warm finish. Octane levels of 14.5 percent have been standard operating procedure for David Heitz with his cabernet bottlings for well more than a decade and the previous vintages have aged very well indeed, but I keep thinking that I would have no issue with these wines coming in a half point lower in octane and showing a bit more chewy, youthful reticence out of the blocks, as it might make them even better twenty years down the road! That said, this is a lovely wine for the cellar and should age long and gracefully in the Heitz family tradition. (Drink between 2021-2050)  (7/2015)

90 points Vinous

 The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is dark, powerful and intense, yet retains a classic, mid-weight personality. Sweet black cherry, menthol, tar, licorice and dark spices all flesh out effortlessly. Succulent and forward, the 2010 will drink well with minimal cellaring. The dark, fleshy finish is quite inviting, even today. Best of all, the straight Napa Valley Cabernet remains exceedingly fair by Napa Valley standards. (AG)  (10/2015)

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Price: $49.99
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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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5