2005 Miste Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon • Stags Leap District
California: Napa Valley
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
Today’s selection is truly a gem from the 2005 vintage in Napa Valley. Drinking beautifully now and without any doubt will continue to improve with age. This is truly a wine for your cellar!
Clever spies stock up on the best wines. When they buy 6 or more bottles of today’s delicious Cabernet Sauvignon, they will be rewarded with Free Ground Shipping, but only if they enter secret savings code CABSPY at checkout.
Mission Codename: Play Miste For Me
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon from Harwell Vineyards,
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hartwell Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Miste Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Benoit Touquette & Michel Rolland
The Stags Leap District (and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar) in Napa Valley because world renown in 1976 after the Judgment of Paris (see the movie Bottle Shock), when in a blind tasting the Cabernets from here outperformed the best from Bordeaux’s rive droite. While the folks in Rutherford and Stags Leap argue about who makes the best Cabs in Napa, us Wine Spies are the ultimate beneficiaries as we get to enjoy vintage after vintage, each often times better than the preceding…
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark purple and almost black with a dark inky core. Deep garnet edges and fast thin legs ring the glass when swirled.
Smell – Intense, bold and rich with aromas of black berry, black currant and black cherry that are layered of an oaky and toasted vanilla component. Hints of licorice and spice round out the lively nose of this wine.
Feel – Initially smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine has firm, but fine tannins and a tangy and mildly spicy mid-palate.
Taste – Rich, complex and well balanced flavors of black fruit with black cherry, black berry and also ripe plum. Well integrated with layers of toasted oak, a touch of exotic spice, black pepper and licorice.
Finish – The finish of this wine continues to deliver with flavors of plum and black fruit along with its spice and oak flavors.
Conclusion – The 2005 Miste Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is simply a delicious wine fully deserving of all the accolades its received. 2005 was an exceptional vintage in Napa and this wine demonstrates it well. Drink now (decant for an hour or two) and cellar a few bottles to see how this wonderful wine will develop over the coming years.
Sitting at OPS on another late night trying to catch up on some paperwork. It wasn’t mine, I was always on top of my admin duties. The long flights back and forth to the continent and other far off destinations coupled with the insomnia would never let me fall behind. It was the reports from joint missions with Agent Blush and Red where we were behind. They must have known I’d eventually do them, so they always let them slide…
It was the wee hours of the morning, and the phone rang. The strangely familiar woman’s voice on the other end simply said “Play Misty for Me”, and then the phone disconnected. I didn’t really think anything of it, until the same call came in the following night the same call and the same request, this time with a little more info:
“Play Misty for Me, My Heart-well needs it”, strange I thought… Heart-well?. Back to the paperwork.
One the third might, the same call came in, this time, the woman’s voice range out with the pitch of a woman deranged with psychosis. She added in a strangely monotone manner, “Can I spell it out any simpler for you? You’re supposed to be the smart one…”
As puzzled as I was, I started doing some research in the W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) with some of the key words. W.I.N.E. is an exceptional computer driven system that supports many of our missions with tremendous neuro-logical technology that assists us in finding the best wines. Think HAL from 2001 – A Space Odyssey, except the voice resembles an attractive woman and not a computerized man. We can thank Agent Red for that contribution.
After a few minutes, W.I.N.E., with the indicators glowing red and yellow, it finally lit up with an answer. In a voice fit for a seductress, she said “Agent White, wont you visit Hartwell Vineyards for me, get me some of the Miste Hill Cabernet, my circuits need it Agent White… Won’t you please go now? I can’t keep calling you Agent White”.
Was W.I.N.E. behind the late night calls, or had I simply lost it? Thankfully, the after a glass of the 2005 Hartwell Vineyards Miste Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, I didn’t ponder that question, the wine was too good…
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Hartwell Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Hartwell Vineyards, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
Awards & Accolades:
93 Points – Wine Spectator – Superrich, broad and expansive, with layers of ripe currant, blackberry, black cherry and plum notes, framed by spicy, toasty, jazzy oak. Finishes with a long, mouthcoating aftertaste that keeps pumping out the rich fruit flavors. Drink now through 2013
About This Wine:
Miste Hill is a wine that shows the softer side of the Hartwell Estate. As with all of our wines, the grapes come exclusively from our hillside estate. During the aging process, we make a selection of those barrels that show brightness of fruit, soft tannins, and approachability. The wine is blended, racked, and bottled without fining or filtration. The goal is to create a wine that can be opened and enjoyed immediately upon release.
The 2005 Miste Hill wine is rich, but well-balanced, fully ripe but with great varietal definition, and tannins that will help the wine to age for many years to come. We were able to ferment the wines with no adjustments in terms of brix or acidity, which means the wine is a true reflection of the vintage.
About The Winery:
Bob Hartwell’s passion for wine stems from his decades as an avid collector. Bob, a fourth generation Californian, has over thirty years of success in the aerospace and plumbing industries. As a successful manufacturer of quality products, Bob has never been a stranger to striving for quality over quantity at any cost. He has always known that the best quality materials result in the best quality products.
Bob’s obsession with producing the best didn’t stop at the manufacturing plant. Bob knew that fulfilling the dream of owning his own vineyard meant finding the best place to grow the best Cabernet Sauvignon. With the help of a respected wine consultant, he found the property he had been searching for. The unplanted hillside in the Stag’s Leap District, now Hartwell Estate, was the birthplace of his dream.
Dick Grace shared his Bouche Clone from Grace Family Vineyards, and collaborated with Bob on Hartwell’s very first production. In 1990 after 22 months in new French oak barrels, the wine, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, was released with explosive success. This established the tradition of quality and style that continues to distinguish Hartwell wines.
In addition to making great wine, Blanca and Bob Hartwell are dedicated to the tradition of charitable giving. Their ongoing philanthropic efforts are instrumental to organizations that improve the lives of children.
Benoit Touquette, Winemaker – Benoit holds a Masters degree of Enology and Chemistry from the University of Bordeaux. He has worked at several Bordeaux wineries including Chateau La Louviere and Chateau Couhins-Lurton. Early in his career Benoit made wine for Michel Rolland, “The Flying Winemaker,” in South Africa at Remhoogte Estate. Benoit is a star on the rise in the wine world and is devoted to continuing the Hartwell tradition of producing wines of distinction and acclaim.
Consulting Winemaker, Michel Rolland – Considered the world’s most influential winemaker and a graduate of the prestigious Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology, Michel Rolland has joined Hartwell Vineyards as a consulting winemaker.
Appellation: Stags Leap District
Release Date: Spring 2008
Blend: 100 % Cabernet Sauvignon
Suggested Retail: $60
Aging: Aged for 20 months in French oak barrels