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2017 Hewitt Double Plus Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Hewitt Double Plus Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Hewitt Double Plus Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

This 2017 Hewitt Double Plus Cabernet is a true showstopper with layers of intensity, complexity, richness and depth. This Cabernet is powerful and expressive with a voluptuous full body and plush mouthfeel, exhibiting the true elegance of this spectacular vineyard selection. Consistently a favorite among wine critics, this vintage continues to highlight the enigmatic character of Hewitt’s terroir, which comes from the highly saturated opaque color, alluring aromas, and multi-layered, nuanced flavors. Double Plus epitomizes the complex character of Hewitt Vineyard with vibrant notes of dark blackberry, blackcurrant and black cherry, alongside nuances of warm baking spices, vanilla, molasses and mocha, all tributes to the beautifully harmonized oak-integration. Signature Rutherford dust characteristics unfold into velvety rich cocoa-powder tannins, with secondary flavors and aromas of sarsaparilla, kola nut and exotic star anise spice, persisting through the unctuous, supple, lengthy finish. Sixty percent of the wine was fermented in small French barriques, enhancing the wine’s opulent mouthfeel and structure, softening firm tannins and giving this Cabernet its signature rum-raisin profile and spectacular concentration.

Technical Information

Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 2017
Appellation Napa Valley
Alcohol % 14.9%
Enclosure Type Cork

Scores & Accolades

  • 95

    JamesSuckling.com

    "Very pretty blueberries and plums with vanilla and sandalwood character. Some toasty notes. Full-bodied with juicy, sweet tannins. Opulent, but not over the top. 60% barrel fermented. A barrel selection of a few hundred cases. Drink after 2022, to see how the wine comes together.” - James Suckling

  • 95

    Vinous

    “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Double Plus is a barrel selection of about 10-12 of the best barrels in the cellar. In 2017, Double Plus shows a bit more freshness and understatement that is quite welcome. There is plenty of intensity, but also terrific freshness and brightness for the year, with pretty floral notes that add lift.” - Antonio Galloni, March 2021

  • 94+

    JebDunnuck.com

    “A step up, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Double Plus is a barrel selection based on 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot brought up in new barrels. It’s a rock star of a 2017 Cabernet, revealing has lots of spiced blackcurrants, sandalwood, cigar box, and smoke tobacco-like aromas and flavors. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, perfectly balanced wine with a Bordeaux-like vibe in its tannins and acidity. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.” - Jeb Dunnuck, January 28, 2021

Winemaking

Trevor Durling - Winemaker

Trevor grew up in nearby Sonoma County, one of the wine hubs of Northern California. Wine was a staple at his family dinner table, and he enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. After an internship at Sonoma-Cutrer in 2003 and two consecutive harvest internships making sparkling wine at Gloria Ferrer, Trevor joined Moon Mountain Vineyard, a small, well-regarded organic vineyard in Sonoma, shortly after his graduation from UC Davis. In March of 2010, Trevor joined the winemaking team at Hewitt Vineyard and Provenance Vineyards and was appointed senior winemaker in 2015.

"From a winemaking standpoint, we have access to some of the best fruit in Napa Valley, not just from our estate in Rutherford, but also from Carneros in the south all the way up to Calistoga in the north. Our job is to make sure that each wine is balanced, complex, exciting and representative of its terroir."

Winemaking

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 percent whole berries. Then the majority of the must was fermented in new French oak barrels to integrate the tannins and enhance the plush texture of the wine. Five to seven days of cold soaking, and roughly 45 days of total skin contact helped to develop the rich varietal character. During in-barrel malolactic fermentation, bâtonnage (stirring) is used to round the tannin profile and soften acidity. Finally, the wine is clarified with two or three rackings during barrel aging and then bottled without fining.

Vintage

Vintage

The 2017 vintage in the Napa Valley was certainly memorable, and was smaller yielding, but high in quality. The region enjoyed much needed rain during the winter months, ending the historical drought. A short period of warmer than usual temperatures during Labor Day weekend accelerated harvest for early ripening grapes varieties, resulting in an intense and, at times, unpredictable harvest, with a riper fruit character. Though yields were lower than usual, the wines show exceptional flavor intensity and growing conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet Sauvignon with beautiful fruit and tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and plenty of complexity.

Vineyard

Vineyard

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 western 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 1996 – 2002, and consist of Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 for flavor diversity as well as a small percentage of Petit Verdot.

Winemaker Trevor Durling