Heitz Wine Cellars Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker Britney Sherwood

Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 07:30 PM

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"By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt."
~ Thomas Jefferson

If only a modern-day politician could contribute as much to the quality of our life as the late great Thomas Jefferson.  He was one of the first advocates of wine in the United States and he is one of the reasons why we have the greatest selection of wines from all around the world in the U.S. today.  So, remember...no matter how bad it gets, we still have great wines here in the U.S. of A.

Speaking of founding fathers, we have one of the first great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon producers in town on Saturday, May 22nd.  Whenever I get a chance to drink the iconic Heitz Martha’s Vineyard I am up for the task!  Join us as we welcome Heitz Wine Cellars Winemaker Britney Sherwood to a special wine tasting featuring all the new release from this winery as well as a few older vintage selections of the Martha’s Vineyard to showcase just how well this wine ages.

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $275 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com
Brittany Sherwood - Charleston Wine + Food
Heitz Wine Cellars Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker Britney Sherwood
Saturday, May 22, 2021
7:30 PM

Heitz Cellar Chardonnay 2017 | Wine.com
2017 Heitz Chardonnay Napa
List $25.5              Sale $22.44
The nose of the 2017 Chardonnay begins with hints of Meyer lemon, pineapple, and freshly baked sweet apple tarts. The fresh fruit aroma is complemented by subtle notes of toasted hazelnut, honeysuckle, and white floral characteristics. Its fresh, bright acidity pleases the palate while balanced by a smooth richness that is obtained through sur lie aging. The new French oak gives the wine vanilla and baking spice flavor without overpowering the varietal flavor.

2016 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Grignolino Rosé - SKU

2016 Heitz Grignolino Napa
List $27.375         Sale $24.09
2017 Heitz Grignolino Napa       
List $24.00           Sale $21.12
Grignolino, a medium-bodied varietal from the Piedmont region in northern Italy and rarely found in California, has been a part of the Heitz Cellar portfolio since our founding in 1961, and has garnered a loyal following over the last six decades.  100% Grignolino, farmed sustainably and certified organic by CCOF and Certified Fish Friendly Farming.

Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 | Wine.com

2015 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
List $57.00           Sale $50.16
2015 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Magnum
List $154.5           Sale $135.96
(94 Points) Heitz Cellars' Napa Cabernet is always one of the region's best-value buys, thanks in part to the winery's dedication to a pre-release ageing regimen. It spends eight months in neutral tank, two years in 50% new French oak, and then 18 months in bottle before release. Notes of aged leather, toffee and brick dust on a refined and velvety-textured palate. An honest Napa Cab. Drinking Window 2020 – 2050 Decanter

See the source image

2014 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside
List $120               Sale $105.6
2014 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Magnum         
List $ 315              Sale $ 277.2
(97 Points) Trailside Vineyard has been a Rutherford estate site for Heitz Cellar since 1984, and produces one of the most undersung Cabernets in the Napa Valley. Martha’s Vineyard may garner more attention, but the Trailside bottling is every bit its equal in terms of complexity. Softer and more nuanced than the rustic Martha's, the nose and texture here are dictionary definitions for Rutherford: dusty, plush and long. The finish is astounding in its power and relative weightlessness. A superb wine! Decanter

Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 | Wine.com

2014 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon                Marthas Vineyard Magnum
List $607.5           Sale $534.6
2014 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Marthas Vineyard Napa
List $247.5           Sale $217.8
(95 Points) Intense for the piercing beam of raspberry and red currant coulis flavors, this is distinctive, offering racy star anise, sassafras, mint and rooibos tea accents. Very focused through the finish. Drink now through 2040.  Wine Spectator

1979 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Marthas Vineyard Napa
This vintage bottling of Martha’s is from the Wine Watch cellar but we will have a few others from the winery.


Cheese and Charcuterie Selection
Lobster Enchilada with Salsa Verde
Duck and Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli with Sundried Tomato Brown Butter
A5 Japanese Wagyu Filet Mignon with Ponzu Sauce and Grilled Wild Mushrooms and Bacon Toast
Chocolate Crème Brulee

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $275 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


A bit about Heitz Cellars

Historical photo of Joe Heitz
In January of 1990 The Wine Spectator featured the Heitz "Martha's Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon on its cover and anointed it "California's Most Treasured Wine."  There certainly must have been something to that story, for collectors and wine fanatics began lining up at 3 AM one February morning in 1990 -that was the day that the 1985 Heitz "Martha's" was released - to get a piece of the action.  By 8 AM when the doors to the retail outlet were flung open, there were some 200 people waiting in line for the wine that Joe Heitz said might just be the greatest "Martha's ever produced."  Most of the people waiting in line left disappointed - they got some of the wine...but not anywhere near as much as they wanted.  As the day wore on, old Joe kept cutting back the allocations as it became obvious that the line was not going to outlast his limited inventory.
What makes this Cabernet so special and why would grown men wait hours and pay great sums of money (like rock-and-rollers vying for tickets to a Stones concert) for a few bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon?  Nothing like this had ever been witnessed outside the famous chateaux of Bordeaux - nor, for that matter, almost anywhere else in California (it should be pointed out that there was a similar wait for the release of another Napa Valley treasure - the 1985 Caymus "Special Selection" Cabernet).  Since the first release of the Heitz "Martha's in 1966, this wine has been among the leading Cabernets produced in California.  However, while many other great wines of California's recent past impressed upon released, many faded into early senility.  Not so with "Martha's" - this wine has had the depth and structure to improve; and many of the vintages are still doing just that.  Wines like 1968, 1970, 1973, and 1974 are still quite youthful and appear to be still improving.  Over the years collectors have been willing to shell out the largest sums of money yet paid for older California Cabernets.  The most expensive vintage the 1974 Heitz "Martha's" sells for over $2500/bottle, while the Mondavi Reserve is selling for around $500 and the BV Reserve (at one time thought to be California's leading collectable) is worth about $200.  Other factors besides ageability and quality have affected the worth of the "Martha's", and one of the prime ones is scarcity - less than 5,000 cases are produced most years.  That is considerably less (by as much as a third) than Mondavi or BV.
Martha's Vineyard was planted in 1961 by Barney & Bella Rhodes, prominent Napa Valley wine collectors and friends and investors of Joe Heitz.  The vineyard is located in Rutherford up against the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains that form the western border of the Napa Valley.  A ring of towering eucalyptus trees surrounds the vineyard, and folklore has it that the distinctive and characteristic minty aroma and taste of Martha's Vineyard is somehow attributed to the effects of these trees - some even claim that a few eucalyptus acorns end up in the grape gondolas every harvest!  In 1964 (before the vineyard had ever born fruit) it was sold to Tom & Martha May, who also became stockholders in the Heitz winery.  The first crop from the vineyard came in 1965, and Joe Heitz was so thrilled with the wine that he decided to bottle it separately (and so label it) in the following year.  Heitz "Martha's Vineyard" was one of the first of the now common vineyard-designated wines produced in California.
Over the years the Heitz "Martha's Vineyard" Cabernets have not been without their controversy.  Joe Heitz was always on the forefront of the price line, and he was the first California vintner to charge heavy prices for his wines.  Although Joe is not well liked in the Napa Valley community for his testy Harry Truman-like personality, he is grudgingly respected; and he is widely given credit for blazing the path for the premium price end of the California wine industry.   The Heitz "Martha's" is aged in a combination of new and used oak (mostly the latter, for Joe eschews the heavy-handed oak taste so many California Cabernets exhibit).  The "Martha's" is noted for its early accessibility (except in monumental vintages), its deep fruit, its concentration and extract, and its ability to evolve tremendously with age.  In addition to the high price, the traditionalist approach to winemaking, and the irascible Mr. Heitz himself, the wine's quality has been at the center of the controversy that has swirled around it these past few years.  Some have felt (including us) that, given the opportunity to fashion a Cabernet from Martha's Vineyard, a Tony Soter, a Randy Dunn or a Ric Forman (some of California's great young winemakers) might just do a better job.  Several disappointing vintages in the late seventies (1978 in particular) and early eighties further fanned the rumors that the Heitz "Martha's Vineyard" would be around only as long as seventy-year old Joe was.  But Heitz is still around today making some of Napa Valley’s best wines and the Martha’s Vineyard will celebrate its 50th vintage with the 2016 harvest! 
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.

Our prized estate vineyards are planted in six of Napa Valley’s sub-appellations: Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Howell Mountain, Oak Knoll District, and Calistoga, giving us an incredible breadth of diversity in terroir, allowing us to craft wines that are a pure representation of place. Their roots keep us grounded to the entirety of Napa Valley and at the same time, keep us mindful of our responsibility to maintain a sustainable environment. We are proud to be a leader in agricultural stewardship as 100% of our vineyards are grown certified CCOF organic, with a move towards biodynamic farming in the near future.

We at Heitz Cellar cherish our history and legacy, with a full commitment to our vision and goals to maintain the winery’s heritage.

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