A tremendous Cabernet with incredible depth and richness, this wine is powerful, opulent and seductive with a full body and plush texture highlighting the extraordinary quality of the 2015 growing season for this year’s Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon Double Plus. There is no mystery why this wine consistently is a favorite among wine critics; it has a very enticing, alluring nature. The 2015 vintage revealed a silky and sophisticated character, exhibited in this wine’s highly saturated opaque color, expressive aromas and layered flavors. Double Plus epitomizes the complex character of Hewitt Vineyard with a vibrant, bold expression of wild blackberry, blackcurrant, rhubarb, black cherry, with hints of espresso, mountain sage and violets. Signature Rutherford dust notes of velvety tannins, dark mocha, black licorice, and graphite aromas persist through the intensely lengthy spiced leather finish. Twenty percent of the wine was fermented in small barrels, which rounded out the Double Plus’s powerful tannins, thus enhancing the wine’s opulent texture and structure and giving the Cabernet its signature rum raisin profile.
The grapes are hand sorted on tables two times: first as clusters to remove any leaves or inadequate fruit and then, after destemming, as individual berries. This gentle process retains about 70% whole berries. Then 33% of the must was fermented in new French oak barrels to integrate the tannins and enhance the plush texture of the wine. Three to five days of cold soaking, and 45 days of total skin contact, helped to develop the rich varietal character. During in-barrel malolactic fermentation, a bâtonnage (or gentle lees stirring) occurs to meld flavors and round out the acidity. Finally, the wine is clarified with one or two rackings during barrel aging, and then bottled without fining.
Sourced from the 60 acre Hewitt Estate Vineyard, this wine is composed of a barrel selection of the very finest parcels from this prized winegrowing land. Typically, only one or two special barrels are selected from at least two or three vineyard blocks that consistently produce the most exceptional fruit. The wine is renowned for showing impeccable balance, supple tannins and highly concentrated flavors. Hewitt Vineyard is tucked against the Mayacamas mountain range on the Rutherford Bench which provides ideal sun exposure and slope, promoting even ripening, while the well-draining alluvial soils allow the vines to root deeply, providing additional complexity and flavors. The current vines in the Hewitt Vineyard were planted from 1992 – 1998, and consist of Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 for flavor diversity as well as a small percentage of Petit Verdot.
Although in 2015 we received three-quarters of our normal rainfall, the cumulative effect of four years of drought in Napa Valley resulted in a light crop. However, the vintage made up in grape quality what it lacked in quantity. The small crop and dry, warm conditions promoted an early, condensed harvest that kept us hopping. At Hewitt, we began picking in mid-September and wrapped up the crush by early October. We were rewarded by balanced wines with highly concentrated flavors.