produced their first vintage of wine in 2000. The owners used to vacation in the Napa Valley and fell in love with the area. Unlike many older folks who have fell under the “allure” of Napa, moved to the area after a previous career and started producing wine in their later years, the owners of Hagen Heights are building a winery when they are in the middle of their careers. They have approximately 8 planted acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is planted with a UC Davis produced Cabernet Sauvignon clone 8 and the more common French Bordeaux clone 337. Unlike many vineyard managers in the Napa area, their vineyard manager is also a winemaker and has worked at Buehler Vineyards for a number of years.
Hagen’s vineyard is located about 9 miles from the San Pablo Bay so they have a cooler climate than up valley. This means longer hang time for the grapes, a slower more moderate ripening climate which means they typically pick the grapes several weeks later then in the northern part of the Napa Valley. Their vineyards are located in the still to be designated “Coombsville” AVA just north east of the town of Napa. They are a small producer, typically producing about 550 cases each year.
All their wine is made at a small winery just south of Yountville and their winemaker has a long history of winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery. The owners really enjoy Cabernet Franc and their winemaker blends a good amount of this varietal into the wine each year. We tried their 2004 Vintage. It is a very bright wine which has hints of spiciness and a little smokiness on the palate. They tend to hold back on the oak aging with a percentage of neutral/1x used barrels which contributes only a slight spiciness as the wine is certainly not “oaky”. It is very well balanced and pairs well with a variety of foods. It has great flavors on the palate with an intriguing mix of ripe blackberries and cherries. These flavors are well managed, and not as intense as you have in some of the “fruit bombs” i.e., the higher alcohol more fruit driven wines. As a result of their growing climate and preferred winemaking style, this wine is more Bordeaux in style rather than the “California fruity”.
Nice scores in the low 90′s for their first vintages certainly have not hurt this winery! You can find their wine locally at the wine shop at Del Dotto Vineyards and also at the St. Helena Wine Merchants.
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
Jerry Zett says
The grapes from this vineyard are now under the Todd Taylor label. He produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from this vineyard.
Jerry, thanks for the update on this – good to know the vineyard has found a new home. Its so hard to keep up with all the producers in Napa who have stopped producing commercially for whatever reason. I’ve archived nearly 80 over the last 8 years and probably another 50-70 I never had a chance to review on my main list who also went away. So if you just look at the numbers (mostly virtual wineries or AP licenses) there is a pretty good percentage of turnover in the valley.
Rolf Sabye says
Interesting history on this vineyard. From Henry Hagen in the 1880s to Todd Taylor today. We’re having his 2017 Clone 8 Hagen Heights Cabernet Sauvignon tonight.