Celebuzz Cocktail Hour: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Honig Vineyard and Winery

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Get your palates prepared to take in the notes.

Instead of the traditional cocktail, we are featuring a wine this week, specifically the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Honig Vineyard and Winery.

In 1964, Louis Honig purchased a 68-acre ranch in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The vineyard was planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which he sold to neighboring wineries. Louis worked to create a family gathering place at the ranch, for his children and grandchildren while he dreamed of the day he could retire from his San Francisco advertising agency and make wine from his vineyard.

Louis passed away before he could realize his dream, leaving the estate to his family. In 1981, as a tribute to his legacy, his family produced a few hundred cases of Louis Honig Sauvignon Blanc in the vineyard’s old tractor barn. After the wine won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair, the family decided to increase production, and Honig Vineyard & Winery was born.

In 1984, at the age of 22, grandson Michael Honig took over management of the vineyard and winery.  In 1989 the family began producing small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. As the business grew, family members Regina Weinstein, Steven Honig, and Stephanie Honig, who enjoyed an impressive career before joining Michael in the winery. Stephanie (Director of Export, National Sales and Public Relations) travels the globe developing Honig’s international and national presence and handles the public relations for business. She also sits on the international sales committee with The California Wine Institute.

The Honig family are leaders in sustainability, both in the vineyard and the winery, and what began as a small “garage” winery has today become a successful family enterprise, with everyone working collaboratively to run an inspiring and socially responsible business.

Over the last 30 years, Michael has surrounded himself with an incredible team and transformed the family business into a thriving success. With his seemingly endless energy, Michael, who is often referred to as “the James Brown of the wine industry,” spends 75% of his time out in the world connecting with people and introducing them to Honig wines.

Winemaker Kristin Belair focuses production solely on Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Honig wines can be found on the wine lists across the country. Louis Honig’s vision of bringing his family together to share in the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley, while producing outstanding wines, has become a reality.

Now, more about the wine!

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Honig Vineyard and Winery

Winemaking Notes:

FRUIT
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 0.5% Merlot

VINTAGE
“Early, even and excellent” are three words used to describe the 2013 growing season and the Napa Valley wine grapes that came from it, reflecting the consistent quality for which this world famous wine region is known.

A warm, dry spring brought early bud break, helped with canopy vigor and berry size and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set under sunny skies. With the exception of one heat spike in late June/early July, temperatures were consistently in the zone for optimal vine activity.

Two brief mid-September rains had virtually no impact on the grapes. The cooler, sunny weather throughout October allowed the grapes still on the vine to linger longer, developing more flavor maturity with sugar levels remaining steady. Harvest ended about two weeks earlier than other Napa Valley harvests in the last decade. Yields on the whole were above average.

HARVEST DATES
September 10 – October 22, 2013
Average Degrees Brix: 26.8

WINE MAKING
The fruit for this wine comes from both our sustainably farmed vineyard in Rutherford, and from local Napa Valley vineyards. Each vineyard block was harvested and made into an individual lot representing that block. The wines were pressed off the skins from 10 to 20 days after crushing. Blending generally takes place between January and April of the year following harvest.

AGING
Aged for 18 months in American oak barrels (35% new barrels)

TASTING NOTES
A big Cabernet with balance and finesse, with characters of black fruit, baking spices, black cherry, lavender, toasted coriander, and anise, layered with toasty oak. The finish is long, with just the right amount of tannins.

Please remember to drink responsibly, and do not drink and drive!