The Heitz was very good but it was a bit difficult to get at because the cork broke in half during the pull, leaving the bottom half in place. My futile attempts to extract the remaining part of the cork caused it to disintegrate into the bottle leaving an unappetizing mess of cork crumbles floating in the wine.
Decanting won't help this but there is an easy way to get past it.You'll need.....
- One clean glass
- An ordinary stainless mesh strainer (with or without handle) that is small enough to rest on the top of the glass
- A paper coffee filter
You can also use a bronze, fine mesh coffee filter providing it is exceptionally clean. However, even the slightest coffee residue will taint the wine.
Since losing an excellent Toscana to old age a while back, I've been making it a point to drink some of these older wines before they go off. The Heitz was a good choice and likely at its peak.
In the glass, the wine is a rich, voluptuous deep purple. 1999 was a pretty good year for California Cabernets and this wine has aged gracefully. It is remarkably smooth and the black fruits are well integrated. Well, hey, it drinks like a nicely aged Cabernet should. Nice aroma, opulent in your mouth, lingering finish. I was sad when it was gone (course, that isn't unusual for moi).
This is a special occasion wine that you may find for around $60.00-$80.00 (US Dollars), which is as good an argument for cellaring wine as any. I've had this bottle for quite a long time, which means I enjoy the fully appreciated wine for considerably less than the going rate.
The trick to building a cellar full of wine is the Nike method. Just do it. Yes, it takes willpower to not drink the wine you just bought. It calls out to you regularly. Ignore it. When if you find one you like, buy another and put it away. Then someday comes by and you realize you've got some great things to enjoy. It's almost like magic.
Heitz is one of the very few Napa wineries that does not have a tasting fee.