The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch is powerful, dense and also
compact. This is an especially dark wine for the year, with plenty of muscle
and depth. There is no shortage of intensity, but the 2014 comes across as
raw and not fully put together. There is plenty of potential, even if the
2014 doesn't quite have the balance of the very best Hayfork Cabernets.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Field Select opens with striking aromatics
redolent of graphite, scorched earth, smoke, leather, tar and black
cherries. The flavors are bold and incisive in a wine that is built on a sense
of masculine strength. In 2014, Haley Wight opted for a high percentage of
Petit Verdot (12%) and that comes through in the wine's pure power. The
2014 Field Select is a total knock-out and also one of the under the radar
gems of the vintage.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch is bright, focused and
nuanced, with striking aromatics and quite a bit of complexity.
Understated and classy, with attractive freshness and tons of finesse, the
Lewelling Ranch shows the more polished style of the year. Even so, there
is plenty of underlying tannic grip.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Field Select is mostly a selection of Clone 4
Cabernet. Pliant, deep and resonant on the palate, the 2013 offers striking
depth, but in the mid-weight style that characterizes all of these wines. A
bit more new oak here gives the wine its texture, shape and overall feel.
Dark cherry, chocolate, plum and spice meld into the pliant, nicely
The exciting 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the respected Lewelling Ranch in St. Helena is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak, this has a relatively realistic price point for Napa. There are 700 cases of this opaque purple wine, which exhibits classic Pauillac notes of Christmas fruitcake, allspice, cedar wood, black and red currants as well as hints of underbrush and earth. It is medium to full-bodied, deliciously fruity and pure, with light to moderate tannin in the finish. Drink it over the next 15+ years.
The 2013 Field Select is actually 98% Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot, coming from the owner’s favorite block of the Lewelling Ranch. There are only two barrels, or 60 cases, so my notes are intentionally short, but this is a beauty. Inky purple, with plenty of blackberry and blackcurrant, some licorice, incense, subtle smoky oak, and a long, full-bodied, opulent finish, it should be drunk over the next 15+ years.
The 2012 Hayfork Lewelling Ranch Cabernet, which is actually a great value in the scheme of Napa pricing, is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot that was aged for 20 months in 70% new French oak. The wine displays gorgeous licorice, lead pencil shavings, black currants, loamy soil undertones and a touch of barrique. Dense purple, it has a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel and a stunning finish with good acidity and velvety, well-integrated tannin, alcohol and wood. This is a scrumptious, full-throttle Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 15 or so years.
The 2012 Hayfork Field Select is slightly more expensive and a much smaller cuvée of just two barrels compared to the 610 cases of the Lewelling Ranch. It is a flowery wine, with notes of licorice, chocolate, coffee bean, blackcurrants and new oak. The wine comes from their favorite block on Lewelling Ranch and is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. I didn’t like it as much as the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch, as it is more backward, more flowery, and just seems more structured, although potentially longer lived. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25 years.
Robert Parker Review
Hayfork was also successful with their 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, which possesses more concentration than many of its peers, no herbaceous or vegetal aspects, and sweet red and black currant aromas and flavors. This attractive, reasonably well-endowed 2011 should drink well for a decade.