Havens Bourriquot (half-bottle) 2003
In contrast to our other Right Bank reserve level wine, Bourriquot features more fine-grained tannins, becoming more elegant early in life than the robust flavors of the Carneros Merlot. The 2003 continues this style, opening with lively tobacco flower and cherry aromas that explode in the mouth. The mid-palate is refined, moderately full and is followed by an expanding, long finish that offers firm, ripe cherries and adds a licorice note. It has firm tannins that support the substantial fleshiness and should assure a good development in the bottle for many years. Bourriquot is unique in California, a wine based on Cabernet Franc and Merlot that attempts to celebrate those grapes' native character, not cover it over.
"Medium red-ruby. Explosive aromas of currant, plum, leather, tobacco and meat. Sweet and rich in the mouth, with highly complex and rather Graves-like flavors of plum, licorice, leather and aged tobacco. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins, lingering sweetness and a suggestion of burning tobacco." 91 Points
International Wine Cellar
"Havens' version of Bordeaux's famed Cheval Blanc, the 2003 Bourriquot (a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot), is not as strong as the 2002, but possesses elegant, cedary spice box, tobacco, and smoky notes, and medium-bodied cherry and black currant flavors with hints of oak and spice in the background. Although the finish is short, it is an elegant, round red to drink over the next 6-7 years." 88 Points
Havens Wine Cellars is located just south of Yountville and a short quieting drive off Highway 29, Napa Valley’s main winery tour route. The pastoral 10-acre site located on the Mayacamas benchland includes a 7½ acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah grapes lovingly tended.
Our own estate vineyard on Hoffman Lane, planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, is an interesting variation on the south Napa Valley vineyard characteristics we value so much. First, we are actually in a little warmer spot here than many of our other vineyards because we sit close to the Mayacamas foothills, slightly in their lee from the prevailing south wind. This means that our daily cooling from the marine airflow is a bit delayed, keeping us warmer for an hour or two longer than vineyards even a few miles east. On the other hand, since we sit on the east-facing slope, we don’t get the full heat of the afternoon sun like vineyards just across the Valley, five miles away in the Stags Leap District. All this combines to define what is called the “diurnal range,” or the daily swing of temperature and wind, and we think it is the single most important factor in a vineyard’s terroir. Our soils here on Hoffman Lane are deep, but include a lot of gravel in the clay loam, and thus they can dry out quickly without drip irrigation. We are still learning the subtleties of farming this site, but have found Syrah here especially well-adapted to the place.
A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties, covering nearly double the vineyard acreage of whites.
While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.
Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while old, gnarly Zinfandel vines survived Prohibition.