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News

Wine Institute Elects 2012-2013 Officers of Board:
Kathleen Heitz Myers to serve as board chairman

   SAN FRANCISCO – Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy group representing nearly 1,000 California      wineries, announced the election of Kathleen Heitz Myers of Heitz Wine Cellars in St. Helena as its board chairman for 2012-2013. Other board officers elected included: Chris Fehrnstrom of Constellation Wines U.S. in San Francisco, first vice chairman; Carolyn Wente of Wente Family Estates in Livermore, second vice chairman; Greg Coleman of E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, treasurer; and Margie Healy of Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, secretary. Robert P. (Bobby) Koch remains president and CEO of Wine Institute.

 

"I am honored to support the Wine Institute's work on state, federal and international public policy. We will continue to focus on defeating tax increase proposals, expanding direct-to-consumer shipping, enhancing our wine exports, and promoting the adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices," said Heitz Myers. "As vintners and grapegrowers, we have a long-term commitment to California with deep roots in many communities. We recognize the importance of communicating to the public that the wine industry generates 330,000 jobs and nearly $62 billion in economic impact to California annually."

Heitz Myers has been president of Heitz Wine Cellars since 1998. As the second generation to lead the family business, she has continued to advance the winery's international reputation. She is a dedicated advocate for California wines and is highly regarded for her leadership as past president of the Napa Valley Vintners, past chair of Auction Napa Valley, member of the Land Trust of Napa County Advisory Council and past president of the Napa Valley Exposition board of directors. Wine Institute Press Release - June 13, 2012.

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History

Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most distinctive wines in Napa Valley.

The distinctiveness lies in its unique style, with profound aromas of mint and eucalyptus derived from the large eucalyptus trees shading the vineyard. On the palate the wine charms, as it is less jammed than most Napa Cabernets. It is reminiscent of the classic Bordeaux style often associated with Mouton-Rothschild and has even been called the Mouton of Napa. The Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has the most esteemed history of any single vineyard wine in Napa. It is an iconic wine. While many other successful wineries that were started in the 1960s have lost their flair and status on the market, Heitz Martha’s Vineyard is still capable of rivaling the modern cult wines.

The best evidence of its greatness was shown in the full vertical Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon tasting in June, where all of its 35 vintages ever produced were evaluated. The results were simply amazing, with the wines reaching an average score of 92.1 points. It is fair to say that there are not many other wineries in the world that can provide as stable a vertical. The wines have a great balance, elegance and continuity. This is not only the result of a great site but also great winemaking.

 

Lots of things have changed since Joe and Alice shared the first bottle of Heitz wine in 1961, but our core values --- quality, integrity and innovation --- have stood the test of time.

A glass of wine is our way of celebrating the best times in life. That means celebrating the big things, of course, but more often the small.

"In our family, most of life's memorable moments have involved sharing a bottle of fine wine with friends and family. Many of the personal and business relationships that we still treasure after three generations started around our dinner table.

When people choose Heitz Cellars, they envision a classic wine and pure elegance that they can count on year after year. That is the heart and soul of our heritage. Our practices and methods have evolved over the years, but the quality of our wines and the integrity of our approach to the business --- that is going to stay the same."    - Kathleen Heitz Myers, President

 

The Heitz family's vision of winemaking spans three generations of dedication to excellence. We believe that true artistry sometimes requires restraint. We strive for the delicate balance between science and nature's bounty that allows our wines to express the genuine character of the varietal and to reflect their vineyard's unique geography within the Napa Valley.

"For people around the world who love to celebrate life with Heitz wines, we will continue to polish the legacy of Heitz Wine Cellars." The Heitz Family

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Vineyards

The vineyard has always been in the hands of the Heitz family – first Joe’s and then son David’s.

Philosophy in winemaking “An important part of the legacy of Martha’s Vineyard is showcasing the authentic varietal character of this incomparable Cabernet clone, with its layers of complexity and remarkable overall balance. Through the extended five-year ageing process, the wine consistently and elegantly portrays the pure flavours and unique characteristics of Martha’s Vineyard. We continually strive to maintain a balance between innovation and a commitment to our winemaking heritage.

While we have made subtle refinements through the years, Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet remains known as a true classic for its consistency in quality and style.” Kathleen Heitz Myers sums History of the place ‘The wine unites’ goes the old saying and two bottles of Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon certainly united two families in a way that the wine lovers around the globe will appreciate. It was all thanks to the generosity of the people who sold their site and house to Tom and Martha May in 1963. The Heitz bottles left as a welcome gift appealed to the May’s palates and they visited the Heitz Cellars. There they met Joe and Alice Heitz and the lifetime bond was created. Later, the handshake sealed the lifetime contract between the families,which ensured the Heitz’s had exclusive rights to the fruit from the May’s vineyard. 

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Winemaking

When Joe had acquired the first batch of fruit from the vineyard he immediately understood that he had something precious in his hands and that it deserved to be vinified and bottled exclusively. The first vineyard designated wine in the history of the United States was born from the harvest of 1966.

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Inside information

Where is Martha's Vineyard?" Here is the correct answer for wine aficionados.

Martha's Vineyard is 34 gently sloping acres on the western side of the Napa Valley just south of Oakville. This verdant niche near the Mayacamas foothills soaks up the morning sun and then cools down a bit earlier than the valley floor.

Fanning out across a graveled alluvial plain, the vines are fringed with towering Eucalyptus trees which are often credited with the distinctive minty aroma and taste of the wine.

This certified organic ranch is home to a proprietary Cabernet clone famed for producing small berries with an intensely purple hue and splendidly concentrated flavor. Joe Heitz crafted the first memorable Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from this exquisite fruit in 1966.

Tom and Martha May have owned this much-heralded vineyard since 1963. From the beginning, the couple decided to focus on the agricultural end of the business, but they believed that they had "special dirt" which just might merit its own wine. The connection they made with Joe and Alice Heitz was a fortuitous moment in Cabernet history.

When the Mays purchased the land and moved into their home, they were greeted with two bottles of Heitz wine that had been left as a welcome by the sellers. Impressed with the gift, the Mays decided to visit Heitz Wine Cellars. That marked the beginning of a friendship that quickly became one of the most important relationships in the winemaking industry. The Heitz family's exclusive arrangement to buy the May family's grapes began with their first harvest and continues today.

Second generation Richard May and Laura May Everett are a major force in the family business today. They approach the farming of Martha's Vineyard in the May family tradition — with great energy and ardor. Both are devoted to the preservation of the extraordinary land that is their heritage.

Now, what about that name?

Trying to come up with a catchy name for their farm in 1963 Tom asked, "What about Martha's Vineyard?" Martha modestly replied, "Oh, we can't do that." But, Tom loved the humor in it, so he persisted until Martha politely acquiesced.

Martha's Vineyard — Now, you know the "West" of the story.

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12 different wines with 103 vintages

Winemaking since 1961

  • Kathleen Heitz Myers President

    "We handcraft our wines with the utmost respect for the incomparable vineyards of the Napa Valley. It's a real pleasure to share a bit of their magical bounty in every bottle of wine we make."
  • David Heitz

    "To me, the real artistry in winemaking means being careful not to get in the way with overly aggressive manipulation. I take a purist's approach, allowing each of our wines to express the true character of the varietal and also to convey their unique geography within the Napa Valley."

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Mark Beaven , Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Sunday dinner with DRC Montrachet 1990, Mouton-Rothschild 1982 and 1986 etc.

5m 26d ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  27 wines 

A Taste of Greatness -tasting with perfect wines like Martha's Vineyards 1974, Harlan 1994, Sassicaia 1985, Pingus 1995, Yquem 1899 etc.

6m 1d ago

 John Lee, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Pierre Pérignon is said to have been a learned man, intelligent, broad-minded, warmhearted and punctual both in his religious and other duties. He was modest in character and way of life - an honorable man, small in size but with a big heart of gold. Such respect did he engender that when new bells were installed in the church of Hautvillers in 1706 his name was engraved on the largest. It was customary at the time to dedicate new church bells to the incumbent bishop and two other persons of note. As a winemaker monk Pérignon was a legend and as a man he seems to have been no less celebrated.


At the beginning of the 18th century the name of Dom Pérignon was so well-known that even many Frenchmen thought it a village or a monastery and searched for it on the map. Today his name remains just as famous and is a symbol for genuine and sophisticated champagne all over  the whole world.

6m 16d ago

 Michael Chan, Wine Blogger (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  8 wines 

1964 Fratelli Minuto Barolo Riserva Speciale, Langhe, Piedmont
Got this for 60 USD, which is somewhat of an impulse buy to try some very aged Barolo from a legendary vintage and a maker oft compared to the likes of Gaja. This is the first wine I have ever had that is this old, let alone one where the winery exists no more.


Surprisingly, the cork came out in one piece despite the age. The bottle is not decanted, for fear of disintegration, but given a good 2 hours to let the wine stretch its legs. It pours a garnet, brick orange color with incredibly long, uniform legs and considerable amount of bricking. It is somewhat cloudy even. On the nose, the wine sings beautifully with a thickness that is redolent of properly aged Bordeaux. Tertiary at core, the concentrated bouquet yields plenty of musk, burnished leather, sous bois, truffles, smoked meats, macerated cherries, thyme and tobacco.


Voluptuous, intense and masculine in stature, the generous palate mirrors the nose and certainly vouches for the pedigree and the vintage. Mild acidity attacks first, followed by finely integrated but once-grippy tannins. Flavors of sour cherries, anise, burnished leather, old books, tar and tobacco dominate. As time goes on, the muskiness and acidity blow off a bit and the wine gains in richness. Finish is very long for a wine that is 52 years of age, lasting almost half a minute. The juice then ends in a licorice-laden, intensely smoky and slightly acidic note. This is my first Barolo, and the first red I have ever tasted aging 50 years and more. Without much experience to compare with, I still find the wine immensely enjoyable, no less because of the price quality ratio but also because of the old-school, traditionalist approach (for example, seeing very little oak). Very few producers do it like that these days for sure. What an incredible find. 92

7m 9d ago

 Thomas Alsgaard, Pro (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Martha's Vineyard 1970, Sassicaia 1970, Grange 1970, Unico 1970 etc.

7m 17d ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  24 wines 

Amazing Magnum-tasting with quite a few 100 points wines like Latour 1982, Mouton 1982, Haut Brion 1989, Martha's Vineyard's 1975...

8m 12d ago

 Juerg Richter / Sauternes Expert, Wine Writer (Switzerland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  10 wines 

MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016


1. Château d'Arche Crème de Tête 1929 - 100 points. The quality of soil and hard work allows Château d’Arche to be ranked among the great wines of Sauternes. They received ISO 14001 certification in 2011 thanks to our efforts in intelligently controlling our impact on the environment.


In the vineyard, They reunite all of the elements necessary to harvesting grapes at their best potential :


Soil rich in gravel and silts which give the power, flavor and finesse to our wine
Vines averaging in age of 45 years old that produce highly concentrated grapes rich in sugars and flavor
The noble rot Botrytis Cinerea essential in producing sweet wines grows particularly well on our grapes composed mainly of Semillon (90%) but also Sauvignon (9%) and Muscadelle (1%).


At maturity, the grapes are harvested 100% by hand and are subject to a rigorous selection.   To assure the quality of our wine, they often need to pick 4-5 times in the same rows of vines at different times in order to select the most botrytised grapes.


Then wines go through multiple stages in our cellars over a period of 18 months before being bottled and available to drink.

8m 18d ago

 Harrison Heitz, Wine Producer (United States)  tasted  6 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  6 wines 

From first sip to glorious finish, the 2004 Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon captures the essence of this superb vintage.


This wine is a Rutherford classic, deeply-hued and powerful, with a lush bouquet of fresh raspberry. Its vibrant core of Cabernet fruit is beautifully wrapped in French oak with a slight hint of vanilla. Skillfully balanced with firm tannins and lively acidity, it soars to an unforgettable finish. Decant this wine to enjoy now, or cellar it to reward yourself in years to come.

8m 27d ago

 Doug Hill / Wine Importer, Pro (Canada)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  22 wines 

Tasting Napa vintages 2010 and 2011 - both great to drink already.

9m 9d ago

 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  16 wines 

I had the great pleasure to attend one of the greatest wine dinners of my life. The topic was 1961 Bordeaux- for me the most complete vintage ever. To the 25 best wines of that vintage were 5 other wines served blind - all from the sixties. The dinner was finished with the most impressive Port I ever had - the brilliant 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional.



I rarely award 100 points to a wine but here I did it for Ausone, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion, Margaux, Trotanoy, Lafleur, La Mission Haut Brion, 1968 Martha's Vineyard, 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle and 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional. Thank you Robert for an unbelievable evening with the nicest of guests, a fantastic dinner at the marvelous Hotel Königshof in Munich. The wine service was, as always, impeccable led by the star sommelier Stephane Thuriot.

9m 10d ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  2 wines  from  Heitz Cellar . In a tasting of  15 wines 

A perfect Grange 1971 -100Points. 


It's not the first time the 1971 Grange has bettered the French at their own game. In 1979, Penfolds caused a sensation in France when the upstart Australian winery topped the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris. The 1971 Grange beat some of the best Rhone wines ever made.



The judging panel contemplates the best wines the 1970s had to offer. 
"If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled the ambitions of Grange it would have to be the 1971," Schubert remarked in 1993, just months before he passed away.


According to the tasting notes, the 1971 Grange is "medium deep brick red" and "an immensely complex and mature wine with lifted smoked meat, dark chocolate, mocha and liquorice aromas".


The 1971 Grange is a blend of 87 per cent shiraz and 13 per cent cabernet sauvignon grapes, which were sourced from the Kalimna Vineyard in the Barossa Valley, and Magill Estate in Adelaide, Clare Valley and Coonawarra. The wine has an unusually low alcohol of around 12.3 per cent, which may have helped contribute to its incredible longevity.


 


 

9m 18d ago

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Touriga Nacional Rosé 2016, Quinta do Vallado
Grand Cru NV (10's), Janisson & Fils
Touriga Nacional 2015, Quinta do Vallado
Single Vineyard Block 5 Chardonnay 2016, Cono Sur
Montrachet 2011, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti