Heitz Cellar Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Located at the base of the Vaca Mountain range along the eastern edge of Rutherford, the Trailside Vineyard captures the heart of the Rutherford terroir, vinified in classic Heitz style. The well-drained volcanic soil of this parcel allows the vineyard to convey the essence of the growing season, year after year. 2016 was a near-perfect growing season in the Napa Valley. You see this evoked in Trailside; vibrant notes of rustic red fruit, rosemary, sage, and thyme are all supported by mouthwatering tannins and a soft and luxurious finish. Aged for four years in our cellar followed by a one-year in the bottle, this wine was created with your immediate enjoyment in mind and will continually evolve over the next 20+ years.
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Family owned since its founding in 1961, Heitz Cellar’s legacy runs as deep as the roots throughout the Napa Valley; a winery legend that has helped shape the history of Napa Valley winemaking. In the late 1950’s, pioneering vintner Joe Heitz ushered in Napa’s modern era with his iconic, globally celebrated wines, including Napa Valley’s first vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon, the renowned Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard. Fifty-eight years of the Heitz family’s dedication to viticulture, stewardship, and classic winemaking, maintained the winery’s notoriety as a benchmark amongst its peers in California and Europe.
In April, 2018, Heitz Cellar entered an exciting new chapter as this rich legacy was passed into the hands of the Lawrence family, whose deep roots in agriculture and commitment to the same core values of fine winemaking made it a perfect match. The wines are made with an unwavering commitment to quality from organically farmed, 100% Napa Valley fruit, and a commitment to the sustainability of Napa Valley.
The Rutherford sub-region of Napa Valley centers on the town of Rutherford and covers some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyard real estate, spanning from the Mayacamas in the west, to the Vaca Mountains on the other side of the valley.
Inside of the Rutherford AVA, bordering the Mayacamas, is a stretch of uplands called the Rutherford Bench. (These bench lands technically run the length of Oakville as well). Mountain runoff creates deep, well-drained, alluvial soils on the bench, giving vine roots plenty of reason to permeate deep into the ground. The result is wine with great structure and complexity.
Rutherford Cabernet Sauvingons and Bordeaux Blends garner substantial attention for their enticing fragrances of dusty earth and dried herbs, broad and juicy mid-palates and lush and fine-grained tannins. The sub-appellation claims some of the valley’s most prized vineyards today, namely Caymus, Rubicon and Beckstoffer Georges III.
It is also home to Napa’s most influential and historic personalities. Thomas Rutherford, responsible for the appellation's name, made serious investments here in grape growing and wine production between the years of 1850 to 1880. Gustave Niebaum purchased a large swath of land and completed his winery in 1887, calling it “Inglenook.” Today this remains the oldest bonded winery in California. Georges Latour founded Beaulieu Vineyard in 1900, making it the oldest continuous winery in the state. Latour also hired the famous enologist, André Tchelistcheff, a man credited for single-handedly defining the modern Napa winemaking style.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.