Old-World Style Cabernet in Napa Valley!

Hesperian Winery owned and operated by Philippe Langner is a winery founded by a lifelong fascination with plants and nature. The first vintage was 2004, and Philippe has been producing limited production, high end, old-world style Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley, California.

I had the pleasure of meeting Philippe for lunch at The Dutch in SOHO, NY. Here we enjoyed an afternoon filled with conversation, great food, and incredible Cabernet. Philippe is both a master viticulturist as well as a winemaker, with his own estate: Kitoko Vineyard. He grows only Cabernet Sauvignon, a staple grape in Napa that thrives and is loved by many. Now, because it takes at least seven years for new vines to start producing fruit use-able for winemaking, Philippe purchased fruit from vineyards that he trusted and could work with, in order to produce wines outside of Kitoko Vineyards, but still in Napa.

These wines are terroir-driven, which is what makes them more “old-world” in style, but because of the long maceration periods and his winemaking techniques, the “new world” fruit is very present in the wines as well. I had the opportunity to try the 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the 2015 Kitoko Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines are bold and powerful, but also elegant and complex with nice mineral notes and silky tannins.

Hesperian offers a wonderful membership, where you can enjoy these small productions, very sought after wines.

2015 Hesperian Napa Valley Cabernet- This wine is plummy with light toasty notes and some jam qualities. This wine can age well for another 10 years, however, if you wanted to drink it now, you certainly can. It’s a big wine full of character and nice juicy purple fruit, spending 20 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Only 300 cases of this wine are produced, which is why I love these wines to give as gifts as well as collect for some cellaring.

2015 Hesperian Kitoko Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet– A wine from his single estate made from 10 tons of fruit from 14 acres. This wine is a bit more complex than the other 2015, and offers crushed blackberries, cigar spice, and dried herb notes and flavors. It also spends 20 months in oak, but with 80% new French oak barrels, giving it more spice and concentrated flavors.

I loved these wines after trying them at The Dutch, where they easily paired with everything from Buratta to Tuna, and of course, my bunless burger! Upon the first sip of the Kitoko Vineyards, I knew I had to showcase these wines with a rooftop event at One Sixty Madison. Since im the private Sommelier of the building, I knew the residents would love to try these wines, and because it’s coming into the fall season, these wines are ideal.

Philippe was recently in NYC again and we decided to host a Hesperian Pop Up at One Sixty Madison. The wines were a huge hit, and to show just how well these wines can age, Philippe brought a very special vintage: 2007. The 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was outstanding, with noticeable age that made this wine very alluring. On the nose, this wine expresses dried figs, black fruit, and spice. The palate is elegant and refined, with smooth tannins and a long lingering finish. Philippe said this wine can go another 8-10 years, but after 10 it may be tired. This is amazing to see at 12 years, how this wine was still fresh and fruit-forward, showcasing its longevity and appeal to the consumer. 2007 was a favorite among One Sixty Madison residents!

The wine club offers shipments of 3,6 and 12 bottles with free shipping with orders over $500, savings, and invitations to Hesperian club member events. If you’re seeking some special wines to gift to a collector, novice, or simply want to collect and cellar some incredible wines yourself than I absolutely recommend Hesperian!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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