2018 Hunnicutt Brinkman Block Cabernet Sauvignon
2018 Hunnicutt Brinkman Block Cabernet SauvignonThe nose is an enticing mix of red and black fruit notes framed by hints of clove, cocoa nib, violets and cassis. On tasting, black cherry cordial, ripe blackberry and cassis envelops and extends through the mid-palate to a long finish with supple finegrain tannins and light touches of clove, olive and dark chocolate. 2018 will be a superb vintage to lay down for at least 7-10 years with definite potential
to go well beyond that. While young, enjoy with a long decant or over two to three days.
Hunnicut is a project put together by Justin Stephens of D.R. Stephens and Kirk Venge who makes the wines. Kirk with his father Nils are Napa winemaking royalty. ( Nils made the first 100pt Parker Napa Cab). They are Napa Blue Bloods and their 2018 Hunnicutt ‘Brinkman Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon is an absolutely killer bottle of Cult Napa Cab. Hunnicutt’s “Brinkman Block” refers to an ancient oak tree in Rutherford that Justin’s mom, Chris Brinkman, used to always point it out as her favorite tree ever since the Stephens family arrived in the valley in 1979. Justin Stephen’s middle name is Hunnicutt and these are getting monster scores and available in tiny quantity.
The grapes are sourced from the great Beckstoffer George 111 Vineyard possible the greatest vineyard in Rutherford. Rutherford. Because of its prime location and high demand, this vineyard is known for its production of many great Cabernets exhibiting the Famous “Rutherford Dust” mystique. Formerly known as the Beaulieu Vineyard No. 3, The Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III sits in the heart of the Rutherford AVA, which was originally planted by Georges DeLatour of Beaulieu in 1928. Luminaries like Alpha Omega, Myriad, Schrader and Hunnicutt make wines from this historic site that sell for $130 to $500 a bottle.
The wine comes from the great 2018 vintage, one of the finest ever in Napa. The vintage received 99 pts by the Wine Spectator which equals the highest rating they have ever given a Napa vintage equaling 1997. This is the quintessential Rutherford cult Napa Cab and when compared to other George 111 Cabs extremely fairly priced. Hunnicutt is all about friends and family and world class Cabernet. Definitely a Winery to follow. I strongly recommend.
Hunnicutt is my middle name, but it wasn’t until after I released the first HUNNICUTT wines that I learned its true origin. As a young boy I was often teased about this unusual middle name, which bothered me until my father told me about the great General Hunnicutt, a daring and feared presence in America’s Wild West. But years later, when speaking at a dinner to introduce the first vintage of HUNNICUTT wines, my father referenced my grandmother, Nora Hunnicutt, in explaining the origin of the name. When I asked my father about Nora’s relationship to the great “General,” I learned there was no General Hunnicutt, just a tall tale fabricated to boost a young boy’s confidence. General or no general, the Hunnicutt name has now been passed down through another generation to our first daughter, Parker Hunnicutt Stephens.
HUNNICUTT was founded in 2002. I’d spent much of my youth in Napa Valley, where part time jobs included working in the vineyards (de-weeding and catching gophers) and scrubbing tanks and assisting with bottlings at wineries of friends. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley I worked in commercial real estate, but realized that wine was of much greater interest and importance to me. I moved to Napa Valley full time to learn the business from the ground up, and for the next several years I juggled night classes in viticulture, enology, and wine marketing with day jobs at wineries in production, sales and management roles. In 2002, as I continued to work and go to school, I made the leap to develop my own brand, HUNNICUTT, enlisting my good friend and noted winemaker Kirk Venge to make the wines.