95 Points - Robert Parker's, the Wine Advocate
"This is a brilliant wine from this well-placed vineyard in Rutherford, sitting right on the so-called Rutherford Bench, with a history of vines having been planted there as far back as 1880. There are 2,646 cases of this wine, which is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot that was aged 21 months in 85% new French oak.
"It is a big wine (15.3% natural alcohol) but shows no heat or hotness whatsoever. Dense purple to the rim, it offers a stunning nose of loamy soil, scorched earth, blackberry and black cherry with some allspice, clove and subtle oak. Hitting the palate, it’s clear the wine has great intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, superb richness and moderate tannin. A classic 2013 as well as a classic wine from Rutherford, it should be given 4-5 years of cellaring and drunk over the following 30 years."
“This is very serious with a focus of blue fruit and a black-olive character. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with a tannin and fruit balance that peels away at the finish. A very serious Napa cab. Classic style with a modern focus. Drink in 2022.” - James Suckling
This outstanding vineyard site on the Rutherford Bench has yielded grapes for many celebrated Napa Valley wines since 1880. The current vines were planted in the well-drained alluvial soils in 1992 and 1996 and budded to Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 for flavor diversity and concentration. Hewitt Vineyard has the advantage of being close to the Mayacamas Mountains for sloping elevation, but not so close that the vines are shaded in the afternoon.
The 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest—fostering intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines—crowned the vintage.
We hand sorted the grapes on tables twice: first as clusters to remove any leaves or inferior fruit and then, after destemming, as individual grapes. A portion 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 before fermentation, followed by extended skin contact, developed the rich varietal character. Bâtonnage (stirring) during malolactic fermentation in the barrel rounded acidity and softened the tannins. Three rackings during barrel aging naturally clarified the wine, and after blending, we bottled this perfectly balanced wine without fining.
"I believe Napa Valley’s 2013 vintage is the best of the past 10 years," says Winemaker Trevor Durling. "Our 2013 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and muscular, with great texture and density on the palate." The expansive aromas and flavors exude sumptuous blackberry, Satsuma plum, black cherry and cassis expression, layered with nuances of bittersweet chocolate, rum raisin, roasted espresso bean and sun-warmed rose. There is also an elusive chaparral note that reminds us of an August hike in the golden California hills. This is truly a wine that speaks to both the personality of Hewitt Vineyard and the outstanding, warm and dry 2013 vintage. Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon is very age-worthy, however, if you can’t wait to drink it, we suggest decanting to allow the flavors to evolve and reveal their great complexity and elegance.
This deeply flavored, full-bodied wine pairs elegantly with boldly flavored entrées, aged cheeses or whatever excites your palate.