light, dry — 3 months ago
On the nose, ripe, ruby, fruits of; mulberry, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, plum, black cherries, blueberries & creamy raspberries. Vanilla, hints of sweet tarriness, black licorice, whiff of spice, soft understated limestone minerals & crushed rock powder, fruity black tea, hint of fresh herbaceousness, rich, black turned earth, fresh dark floral bouquet and fields of lavender & violets.
The body is rich, ripe & full. The tannins are a little sticky but well softened, round and a touch chewy. The structure, tension, length, balance, tension and balance are very close to perfect and harmonious. Fruits are; mulberry, huckleberry, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, plum, black cherries & creamy raspberries. Vanilla, hints of sweet tarriness, black licorice, whiff of spice, soft understated limestone minerals & crushed rock powder, fruity black tea, hint of fresh herbaceousness, rich, black turned earth, fresh dark floral bouquet and fields of lavender & violets. The acidity is round and rains like a waterfall perfectly over the palate. The very long, ruby, rich, well balance lasts minutes and is absolutely heavenly. Gorgeous, elegant, stunning wine.
Photos of; the vertical tasting we attended of all Hendricks Cabernets; 04, 05, 09 & 12 at the time w/ one of our favorite paintings in the background, Charles Hendricks working in the cellar, very old rootstock from the Stag’s Leap Vineyard where the fruit to make this wine normally comes from and a wide shot of the Stag’s Leap Vineyard.
Producer notes and history...Hendricks Cabernet Sauvignon is consistently sourced from a few of Napa Valley’s finest vineyards. In those near perfect vintages, Charles only makes a small production wine of around 250-300 cases. Charles only produces it when he has exception fruit. He’s made Hendricks Cabernet in; 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012 & 2014. Notice he didn’t make Hendricks Cabernet in a great vintage year like 2013. He wasn’t happy enough with his fruit in 2013 to put his name on it. That says a lot and maybe all you need to know about his standard for quality. I do know what wine his 13 fruit made as I’ve had and it’s an unbelievable wine for far less money.
Charles also makes a fantastic Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands that is really quite amazing. Especially, if you give it 5 or 6 years in bottle. All his wines are sold exclusively through the Hope & Grace tasting room in Yountville as he is also the Hope & Grace Winemaker.
Charles graduated in 1982 from UC Davis in viticulture. He was also able to tailor his own curriculum and was one of the earliest to integrate winemaking and viticulture course work. Having knowledge of both viticulture and enology forms the basis for his well-rounded winemaking.
Over the years Charles has worked in both Napa and Sonoma Counties, gaining hands on experience in all aspects of winemaking. He has a strong reputation for excellence. In his career, he’s been a consulting winemaker for many wineries; Viader, Barnett Vineyards, Paoletti Vineyards, Regusci Winery, James Cole, T-Vine and Tamayo family Vineyard.
I asked Charles, “how does he make wines that are amazingly good in their youth but will age effortlessly for 15-20 years?” His answer was simply this, “its not that hard, you just have to know the perfect time to harvest fruit.” I would agree with that to a degree. But, you also have to know how to gently guide fruit onto it’s path into the barrel and not get in the wine’s way or overwork the process. — 2 years ago
The first of our 13's. 2+ hour double decant and still quite big and monolithic. An amazing wine after a few more hours with plenty of graphite, cedar, leather and a touch of anise. Paired amazingly with French dip sandwiches made with left over Christmas prime rib. — 2 months ago
Only black from edge to edge. Intense aromas of black fruit plum compote, black pepper and vanilla. The ripeness of the fruit brings natural acidy to the party of black and blue fruit. The finish hangs on for an eternity with dried herbs, dusty gravel and molasses. If Darth Viader drinks wine, this would be his favorite! — 2 years ago
Juicy and plump — 6 months ago
Inspired by @Jeff D. ’s review last night. Been thinking about this all day. Same thing happening as last time. Pop n pour rating great, 92, but can tell there’s more in the tank. @Jeff D. Saw all of your reviews on many years of this wine. 🧢 off! Club member? All wines this good? — 9 months ago