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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Newton The Puzzle 2002
Newton The Puzzle 2002
(search item no. 88954)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $59.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine News rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 35% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot

Spread across 120 planted acres on the steep hillsides of Spring Mountain, the Newton Vineyard Estate is comprised of over 112 distinctive vineyard blocks. The individual character of each parcel is the unique result of the diverse microclimates and soils created by the mountaintop's many contours and rugged terrain. The winery is designed to allow these small lots to be kept separate until the winemaker artfully assembles these unique parcels, like pieces of a puzzle, into the finest expression of the Spring Mountain Estate.

Expansive and luxurious, this full-bodied red re-invents itself with each taste. The wine opens with rich aromas of cassis and touches of raspberries, dark chocolate and kirsch cherries. On the palate, expect a velvety explosion of blackberries, raspberry liquor, black fig and dark cherry bolstered by ripe tannins. With time in the cellar, this multifaceted wine will continue to develop complexity and flavor.

Decanting this wine will allow its full power to unfold. The concentrated fruit found in The Puzzle makes it an exceptional companion to hearty dishes such as duck cassoulet, grilled venison with a cherry reduction sauce, or braised veal with protobello mushrooms. For dessert, try it with an elegant combination of chocolate and nuts such as chocolate mocha cake with a hazelnut sauce.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Newton Vineyard:

About Newton Vineyard:

Peter and Su Hua Newton purchased one square mile of tumbling slopes high up on Spring Mountain overlooking St. Helena in 1977. The Estate was planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Merlot thrives in a land which is rocky mixed with clay beneath the surface, while Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot like an impoverished soil, and Cabernet Sauvignon is happy in stony loam. The mountainous slopes of the vineyards not only have these soils, but also a full range of exposures. Spring Mountain provides the vines get all the sunlight they need without any baking heat stress.

Chardonnay needs chalky or loamy soil in a cooler region. Newton owns an old vineyard in Carneros and also has long-term grape contracts for several hillside vineyards verging on that region. Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay, introduced in 1990, is said to be the first unfiltered wine produced and sold in California, and is now regarded as an industry benchmark.

Su Hua insists on picking only ripe grapes from the vine. Her method of quality control is to be involved in every aspect of the harvest, during which time she can be found every day among the pickers. To ensure that only ripe grapes are harvested, there can be up to four separate pickings in a single vineyard - very difficult to do but, she believes, there is no other way to produce a great wine.