Heitz Wine Cellars, Napa County

by Stevie on August 2, 2009

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Greetings from Heitz Wine Cellars!

Greetings from Heitz Wine Cellars!

We were in Napa for some wine tasting and to go to the restaurant, Redd, in Yountville the other day. The dinner was a gift from our friends, Suma and Tom, for our wedding last year. We had not really planned on trying Heitz but happened across it while looking for Louis M. Martini. Actually the two tasting rooms are just next door from one another on Highway 29 south of Saint Helena.

I’d heard about Joe Heitz as one of the celebrated winemakers from the 1960’s and 1970’s. He trained under the famous Andre Tchelistcheff. Unfortunately Joe’s now deceased. But according to the informative brochure provided at the winery, it appears that his children continue to operate the place.

The tasting room is quite lovely. I have no idea where the actual winery is located. We never thought to ask. Oops! It was simply so charming there that it never occurred to us! At any rate, there are tall attractive palm trees at the entrance with gardens surrounding the tasting room. These are then surrounded by vineyards. They grow all of their own grapes in Napa. The tasting room itself was stunning! It had very high ceilings with oversized lamps hanging above the contemporary looking tasting bar. We were there in the early afternoon on a Tuesday, so it was fairly slow. That was great because we didn’t feel rushed and had the chance to chat with the tasting room pourer guy. It was free to try the wines.

welcome to Heitz

2007 Chardonnay: This wine had a straw color with the aroma of grapefruit. It was not that fruity or oaky flavored. It had a sour green apple taste. Just O.K.

2006 Petit Verdot: This one had a dark purple color and smelled of spices. The taste was “bloody” and chalky with an astringency suggesting that it could benefit from more age. It had a lingering finish that had cherry notes.

1998 Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: This was a medium red color. It had a distinctly “rotten vegetable” and “celery” smell. Maybe more like a Bloody Mary? Weird, I know! It had caramel notes. We were not big fans of this one.

a selection of wines from Heitz

a selection of wines from Heitz

1998 Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: This was medium red. Hegui smelled camphor. It had a “metallic” taste with good structure. It also had a chalky astringency. Could it need more time in the cellar?

Non-vintage Port: This was a blend of traditional Portuguese varietals. It had a lovely ruby color. It tasted sweet and round.

Overall, we weren’t that excited by this winery. It looked great but the wines themselves didn’t catch our interest that much.

beautiful vineyard views behind the Heitz tasting room

beautiful vineyard views behind the Heitz tasting room

Heitz grapes on the vine late July

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