1978 Heitz "Bella Oaks" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon SKU #993057


WS 90
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K&L Notes

Bella Oaks vineyard is located on the western valley floor in Rutherford, in the "knees" of the Mayacamas mountain range. It produces elegant, age-worthy wines, much like the neighboring Martha's Vineyard. The 1978 was the third vintage of the Bella Oaks, which was only made until 2006, when the vineyard proprietors passed away. According to the winery, "The 1978 Bella Oaks from Heitz is another very young and vibrant example of the vintage, and the wine really demands at least an hour of decanting time to blossom if it is to be drunk today. The wine is not overtly structured like the ’78 Burgess Vintage Select, but when first opened it shows an odd lactic or cheesy note that is not necessarily inviting. However, one hour on this characteristic is subsumed in beautiful fruit tones, and the wine begins to drink splendidly. Once blossomed, the nose is a superb blend of red cherries, orange, woodsmoke, a hint of mint, walnuts, a gentle bass note of bell pepper, chipotles, soil tones and a lovely high end of Rutherford spice tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very fresh, with a fine core of cherry fruit, lovely soil tones, moderate tannins and lovely length and grip. A fine bottle of ’78 that is now nearing its apogee, but which will continue to drink beautifully for a very long time. 2009-2030. 91." (2011)


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