By a slim margin, I preferred the sample of the 2016 Heimark Cabernet Sauvignon over the 2017. And can’t wait for the 2018! As Philippe Melka has stated, “Heimark is like the Pauillac of Napa Valley, with lots of sophisticated tannins!” I don’t usually espouse 100% new French oak, because most Cabernet Sauvignon, with the exception of 1er Growth Grand Cru Bordeaux don’t have the “fortitude”, or are not capable of absorbing and sufficiently integrating the tannins without resulting in an “over oaked” dominated wine. Heimark’s 2016 is the special exception!
What is so exciting?
- The Vineyard – located at about 1100’ in the eastern hills of Calistoga. In 1997, the vineyard development was lead by vineyard manager Michael Wolf, viticulturist Mary Hall Maher (Etude and Harlan Estate) and winemaker Tony Soter (Soter Vineyards). Michael Wolf continues to manage the vineyard. He came to Napa Valley in 1981, and in 1997 he founded Michael Wolf Vineyard Services. Michael has spent his life planting and nurturing Napa Valley’s finest vineyards such as To Kalon, Scarecrow, Vine Hill Ranch, among many others. Michael has been the vineyard manager at Heimark Vineyard since its original planting in 1997 and has been involved in every phase of the site’s development. He serves on the board of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, which promotes education and professional development for vineyard workers.
The Winemaker – is Francoise Peschon. Francoise studied enology (winemaking) at the University of California, Davis and completed an apprenticeship at Château Haut-Brion in France. Winemaker at the fabled Araujo Estate (Eisele Vineyard) for 14 years, currently winemaker at VHR – Vine Hill Ranch and Drinkward Peschon and part of the Accendo winemaking team, in addition to Heimark Vineyard.
Critical Acclaim & Pedigree – As grape growers for over 20 years, Heimark fruit has featured prominently in award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon from Lail Vineyards J Daniel Cuvee, Lewis Cellars, Etude Wines, Moone-Tsai, Arkenstone, Soter Vineyards, Araujo Estate Wines, and Dakota Shy Wine.
The Grapes – Of the 14 acres planted, about 13 are dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon. The rest is split between Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Rocky, volcanic, and fractured, this challenging environment cultivates resilient, deeply rooted vines. The struggle that the vines endure in this terrain results in grapes of lustrous quality and intense flavors. The fruit is infused with hints of blackberry, black cherries, boysenberry, plums, cloves, and wild herbs. These singular grapes make for spirited, well-balanced red wines with great energy, natural lift, and a lengthy finish.
Mission – Sustainability – Sustainability At Heimark Vineyard, paramount attention to detail and to the pursuit of excellence is embedded in every stage of the farming and winemaking. Only sustainable farming techniques are practiced to ultimately coax the pure expression of the terroir. Philanthropy! Heimark Vineyard is a family-run venture, and has been passionate for more than thirty years to donate towards promoting educational projects in Kenya, India, Ghana, Nicaragua, and across the United States. Consistent with these values, some of the proceeds from Heimark Vineyard are reinvested in the education of Napa Valley farmworkers.
Wine Produced: 220 cases
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Sourcing: Heimark Family Vineyard
Harvest Date: September 20, 2016
96+ points: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is an absolutely gorgeous Calistoga Cabernet. Powerful and deep, the 2016 marries fruit intensity with energy. Gravel, iron, scorched earther, dried herbs, leather, tobacco, cedar and licorice give striking aromatic nuance and layers of complexity. The tannins could use a few years to settle down, but the 2016 is a super impressive wine. Because it was the first year, the wine was aged in 100% new oak, which is not perceptible. The Heimarks certainly chose a great year to start.” ” — Antonio Galloni, Vinous
See the attachment above for more information including other ratings by Antonio Galloni (2018 vintage at 97 points). Many of you may not recall Antonio became Robert Parker’s primary editor and critic until he severed ties with the Wine Advocate and went independent about 10 years ago. While I liked the 2017 vintage, the 2016 Heimark Cabernet is the wine to purchase while one can. I should also mention that there are no other ratings or reviews of any of the Heimark Cabernet Sauvignon at this time. Those who purchase will be given first option when the 2018 becomes available.
I am totally in agreement with AG’s 96+ rating, and highly encourage you to add this monumental Cabernet Sauvignon to your collection! Stunning and so accomplished now with even more outrageous potential!