1977 Heitz "Bella Oaks" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #901072 93 points John Gilman

 I had not tasted a bottle of the 1977 Bella Oaks since early 2013 and the wine has blossomed nicely since that last bottle and is far better than I initially imagined. Four and a half years ago, I wondered if the wine would ever fully blossom from behind its remaining tannins, or if the wine was always going to be a bit bound up in its structure from the second straight drought vintage in Napa. Clearly, the wine just needed time and this most recent bottle was really wide open and showing beautifully, offering up a superb nose of cherries, blood orange, a touch of sealing wax, cigar smoke, red curry, a touch of new oak and a beautiful base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and tangy, with impressive depth at the core and lovely complexity. There is still just a touch of backend tannin on the very long, well-balanced and classy finish. Fine juice that I clearly underrated previously. (Drink between 2017-2040)  (7/2017)

Jancis Robinson

 Quite right to serve this first as it may have looked a little spindly after the 1995. A wonderful testament to California Cabernet, the late Joe Heitz and the Rhodes's who owned Bella Oaks vineyard. The most gorgeously sweet, fully evolved yet really quite delicate nose - almost burgundian. Minty, fresh with wonderful balance and subtlety, although the acidity started to show through after 30 minutes or so in the glass. Marvellous. Less than 13% alcohol if I remember correctly. 19/20 points.  (8/2009)

K&L Notes

Currants, mint and cedar notes make this fully mature Cabernet as tasty as it is rare!

Share |
Price: $159.99
Add To Waiting List

Real Time Inventory by location:

The item you have chosen is not in stock in our retail stores or within our main warehouse.

Product turnaround time varies by location of inventory and your chosen method of shipping/pickup. For a detailed explanation click here.

Additional Information:


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.