Hughes Wellman 2008 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Hughes Wellman St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon

92 pts, Wine Enthusiast; Gold Medal: 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition; Gold Medal, 92 Points: Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • LA International Gold Winner
  • San Francisco Chronicle Gold Winner
  • Wine Enthusiast 92 PTS!
The 2008 Hughes Wellman Cabernet is an elegantly styled wine with tremendous purity and persistence. Deep garnet and purple inflected appearances are supported by fresh cut red and black fruit. Soaring aromatics and crème de cassis interlace in a silken package. Mocha, graphite, and Crème de Mure define the palate. The resolve is formidable, with finely grained tannins to support its fresh, show stopping character. Mouthwatering and fresh, with currant, blueberry, red raspberry and Damson plum fruit notes contrasting with transparent texture and structure. The finish is a tour de force, aria-like, with waves of pure fruit and mineral building to a satisfying resolve.

Style: Full, Bold

Flavors: Blueberry, Currant, Graphite, Mocha, Plum, Raspberry, Tannins

Cam Confidential

Our 2008 vintage presented change for both the vineyard and our Hughes Wellman program. La Herradura was sold in late 2007 and its long time managers were dismissed. At this point we felt it was time for a new partner and the timing could not have been more perfect. In short order, we secured the fabled Stagecoach Vineyard and Palisades Vineyard as our core grape sources for the 2008 vintage.

These vineyards are some of the best terroir in Napa Valley and the result is a truly spectacular Cabernet. Both Stagecoach Vineyards and The Palisades Vineyard are located on the east side of the Napa Valley with western and southwestern exposures. Stagecoach is grandly constructed from massive red volcanic intrusions. The elevation 1100-1500ft gives Stagecoach exposure to cool coastal influence across the western Mayacamas. The red Hambright soils are extremely well-drained and ideal for Cabernet. The Palisades Vineyard is located at the outflow of Horns Creek in Calistoga. The site is nestled between two ridges with a gradual slope and fantastically deep Spartina Gravel soils (Think Araujo Estate). These two sites represent the best that the Napa Valley has to offer in terms of exposure and location.

The 2008 vintage contrasts previous Hughes Wellman Cabernet releases, as a result of a slightly cooler season and later picking dates. Although the vintage was not as warm as 2007, our improved sites gave us a longer ripening season as a perfect October came to a close. The wine style is texturally different than our previous releases, more high-toned and fresh with finely-grained tannins. The wine was aged in 70% new French oak and spent 20 months on its lees. This practice creates density, freshness and a silken texture in wine, however not every vineyard can support this style. Elegance, purity and grace define this wine.