Heitz’s Trailside Vineyard Cabernet is a varietal wine—not entirely unusual, perhaps, but many wineries blend-in a little Merlot, Petit Verdot, or Cabernet Franc to balance their Cabs. Heitz is perhaps most famous for their also-varietal Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet, grown in the 34-acre Oakville plot from which they’ve sourced fruit since 1966. While Martha’s fetches $235 per bottle, this one retails for $85, serving as an entrée to their style.
This wine saw three years of oak aging and one year in bottle prior to release, and it’s the barrel influence that’s currently its most conspicuous feature. The wine is young, apple-cheeked and plumped with blue and red fruits, but it’s also dressed-up, decorated with baking spice and vanilla. Its texture is soft, although a streak of silvery graphite adds welcome grip at the finish.
Youthful and rosy, this wine will enjoy a few years in the cellar to firm up. If you do open it soon, try it with delicate yet savory fare: seared beef or pork tenderloin, mushroom risotto, roasted chicken, or a rangy cheese course.
2012 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Vineyard Napa Valley
14.5% abv | $85 (sample)