Hagen Heights Vineyard2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
D.J. and Diane Smith released their first wine, a 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, to widespread critical acclaim. The winery is located
in the southeastern end of Napa Valley about nine miles from the San Francisco Bay. The cooler climate there allows for two to three weeks longer hang time, or ripening of the grapes.
Mike Wolf, whose client list includes Robert Mondavi, Silver Oak, Etude, Harlan Estate, Far Niente, Duckhorn, Merryvale and Cakebread, was vineyard construction manager. Heather Pyle, who worked on the Robert Mondavi Reserve reds in the 1980’s and 1990’s, is winemaker, and Raul Gloria is vineyard manager. The vineyard’s volcanic cinder/creek bed loam soils are planted to Bordeaux Cabernet Franc Clone 332, U.C. Davis Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 8 and Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337, all grown on 101-14 rootstock.
The Smith’s released only 250 cases of this promising new Cabernet Sauvignon. It is smooth and supple with fine-grain tannins, and notes of baked fruit, mission fig, mulberry, tar and vanilla. Spot-on varietal character comes through on the long, expressive finish. Though enjoyable right out of the bottle, decanting for aeration will bring out even more character.
Reviewed December 18, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.
Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.