I had a bottle of the 2010 Honig Bartolucci Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet in San Francisco over the weekend and absolutely loved it. I have always supported Honig wines and inquired about the availability of their top of the line Cabernet yesterday. I now understand why Honig has always been “hush-hush” about this bottling. The Bartolucci vineyard sits between Abreu and Spottswoode; both wineries who pump out 96-100 Point scores on a yearly basis. I also learned what makes this area in St. Helena so spectacular, the little water in the area forces the roots to reach DEEP into the earth which results in super concentrated grapes. The vineyard itself could easily fetch 30+ million dollars if ever sold to the numerous investors who inquire about it, but the owners of the vineyard know to keep this gem in their hands for now.
This wine is rich, polished, pure and displays an “old school” structure and balance that is for the long term. While I feel this wine is approachable now, it will benefit from a year/two of cellaring, or serious decanting. I loved how this wine isn’t the sweet, over the top, in your face style. The balance, layers of earth, minerality, rich fruit and toasty oak jumps out of the glass and dances on your palate. Just like the other wineries who are it’s neighbors, this wine is for Cabernet Sauvignon connoisseur’s who appreciate the great Napa Cabernets of the 80’s and 90’s. I rated this wine 94+ Points today and it’s easily my favorite Honig Cabernet.
A rich Cabernet, combining aromas and flavors of blackberry and cherry, and spices wrapped in vanilla and toasty oak. The texture is silky, rich and layered on the mid-palate, with a beautiful, lasting finish full of cocoa powder and black tea, and dense and structured tannins. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink 2016 – 2030.
Brian Dunlap is a Senior Wine Advisor with the Wine Spectrum in Santa Rosa, California. Brian joined the Wine Spectrum after working as a wine consultant for a wine brokerage in Northern California. While being in the rare and boutique wine business for 8 years, Brian has been a lifelong resident in the Russian River Valley.
While being an avid collector and connoisseur of the worlds greatest wines, Brian also spends a large amount of time tending to his own vineyard and making a barrel of zinfandel each year.
“Artisan wine has been a great passion to me ever since I tasted the lineup of Martinelli wines. While recognizing that wine is a living, breathing beauty, I have the desire to learn about fine wine in all aspects. I take great pride in advising my clients what are collectable wines, values, whats new and hot, and what I would recommend purchasing based on your specifc preferences so that you can make informed purchases. I encourage you to contact me if you would like to learn more about the wines I provide or myself.” – Brian Dunlap