1998 Hartwell Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1182880 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 There’s some pretty blackberry fruit and spice here, while plenty of fancy oak provides woody spices and sweet vanillins as well as a smoky quality. The texture is smooth and polished. The fruit isn’t very dense or concentrated, but this elegant, soft wine drinks well now and will improve in the next year or two.  (6/2002)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This deep ruby-colored, elegant Cabernet offers notes of spicy French oak intermixed with black currants, cranberries, vanilla, and floral scents. It is medium-bodied and stylish, with unobtrusive tannin as well as acidity. This measured, attractive effort should drink well for 12+ years.  (6/2002)

Wine Spectator

 A solid effort, with layers of ripe, rich, grapey currant and plum-laced fruit flavors. Toasty oak adds dimension, and the flavor turns complex and spicy, with supple tannins. Tempting now, but worthy of short-term cellaring.  (6/2001)

K&L Notes

The development of the Hartwell estate began with a small one-acre vineyard planted to the Bosche clone with cuttings taken from Grace Family Vineyard. The vineyard produced its first wine in 1990 and was then followed by the development of the Sunshine Vineyard, which came into production with the 1993 vintage. As a result of different clonal selections, each of these vineyards display their own unique characteristics. The 1998 vintage shows ripe black cherry, cassis and cocoa flavors with a long, silky finish.

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Price: $159.99
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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.