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  • 1997 Hartwell - Cabernet Sauvignon Sunshine Vineyard

1997 Hartwell - Cabernet Sauvignon Sunshine Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 86 WA
  • 89 WS
  • 87 IWC
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon

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SKU: 51576-1997-750-3A
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 86

    Dark ruby/purple-colored, with notes of new saddle leather, red currants, and minerals, this medium-bodied, restrained, elegantly-crafted Cabernet Sauvignon has finesse, but not a great deal of depth, concentration, or complexity.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 87

    Full ruby-red. Rather oaky aromas of cassis and bitter chocolate. Fairly intense flavors of black cherry and cassis are juicy but a bit clenched. Finishes with slightly drying tannins and notes of bitter chocolate and espresso. Only a small |Sunshine Vineyard| seal distinguishes this bottle from the same producer's more interesting wine made in much smaller quantity (by Heidi Barrett through the '97 vintage) from the Grace clone.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2000
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 89

    Solid, with chunky currant, blackberry and cherry flavors framed by toasty, cedary oak, finishing with complexity.
    Author: James Laube
  • No collector reviews available
  • Hartwell's Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc vines are ideally situated in the Stags Leap District of Napa, on the steep slope of a dormant volcano. They enjoy all the factors for winegrowing success: warm days, cool nights, good drainage, low yields, and the only granite in Stags Leap. Winemakers Benoit Touquette, trained at the University of Bordeaux, and Andy Erickson, trained at UC Davis, team up with consulting winemaker Michel Rolland to produce single varietal bottlings of distinction.

    See other similar producers:Pahlmeyer,Hundred Acre,Tamber Bey Vineyards

    California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

    Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

    The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

    Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

    New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

    All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 151 bottles owned
    • 43 collectors