A small, exclusive bottling that began in 2009 to honor legendary William A. Hewitt. Made from eight to ten of the most expressive and beautifully balanced barrels of Hewitt Vineyard. These are marked as favorite barrels each vintage with a double plus sign. (++) Partial in barrel fermentation developed the plush, opulent texture. Clarified with gentle rackings and bottled without fining. Bottle age for full complexity or, if enjoying it in its youth, first decant to release the full spectrum of flavors and textures.
Barrel Aging: 21 months, 100% French Oak (90% New)
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 233 cases
“With its incredibly saturated color, aromas and flavors, Double Plus epitomizes the complex character of Hewitt Vineyard,” says Winemaker Trevor Durling. “We call this wine the “gentle giant”, with its powerful, yet tamed, tannins and dense layers of ripe, wild blackberry and crème de cassis, with violet, sage and vanilla-oak nuances. Molasses, vanilla and hazelnut lace the persistent, dark-fruit finish. As we taste the developing Hewitt wine-lots during fermentation and aging, we mark our favorite barrels with a plus sign and the most exceptional barrel with a double plus. And then, through repeated tastings over three to four months, we find the perfect blend. It’s how the wines ‘play together in the sandbox’, as well as the individual character of each barrel.”
This barrel selection came from one section of vines in the heart of Hewitt Vineyard that consistently produces exceptional fruit. Its sun exposure and slope promote ideal ripening, while the well-drained, alluvial soils of the Rutherford Bench allow deep rooting for complex flavors. Hewitt Vineyard was planted in 1992 and 1996 and budded to Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 for flavor diversity and concentration.
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. This gentle process retained about 70 percent whole berries. We fermented 60 percent of the must in new French oak barrels to integrate tannins and enhance the plush texture of the wine. Three to five days of cold soaking and 45 days of total skin contact developed the rich varietal character. During in-barrel malolactic fermentation, we stirred the wine (bâtonnage) to meld flavors and round acidity, and then we clarified the wine with four rackings during barrel aging.