Red Wine Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Hall winery in St Helena is owned by Craig and Kathryn Hall, a couple who have had very successful careers in a number of different areas. Kathryn’s family have been grape growers in Mendocino County for generations and she served as Ambassador to Austria for several years, while Craig is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor and author. This magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted from selected fruit from prime organic vineyards in the Napa Valley which are a combination of Hall’s estate vineyards and partner growers. Fruit from these different parcels is carefully blended to craft a complex portrait of the terroir of the Napa Valley. Following vinification the wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 22 months. Dark cherry, blackberry and hints of crushed blueberries burst out of the glass while the first sip reveals luscious dark berry flavours mingling with dried herbs, winter spice, thyme and leather. On the palate there is a generous full body, firm tannins and a very long finish seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. A great wine to hold in the cellar for a few more years or to drink now with hearty red meat dishes.
Red Wine Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Red Wine Herdade do Peso Alentejo Reserva 2018. The warm, dry climate of the Alentejo region makes it an ideal spot to craft sustainable wines with real character. In the hands of the Guedes family since 1996, the Herdade do Paso estate is situated in Vidígueira in the south of the region where the hot sunny days and cool nights are perfectly suited to making intensely-flavoured yet elegant red wines. The family insists on harvesting their grapes at optimal ripeness, so they closely monitor the grapes and harvest each different grape variety separately when it is are fully ready. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and the wine is then matured in 40% new and 60% used oak barrels for 12 months. Each variety is also vinified and matured separately and the final blend is decided when all of the barrels are ready. The first thing you will notice is the deep ruby red hue and intense aromas of plums, raspberries and blackberries which invite you to take a sip. On the palate there are concentrated dark berry flavours along with hints of tobacco, black pepper and menthol. There are firm tannins, a fresh acidity and a long and luscious finish.
Red Wine Hess Lion Tamer Red Blend 2018. Art lover and wine enthusiast Donald Hess fell in love with mountain winemaking after a business trip to Napa Valley in the 1970s. Following extensive research into the Mount Veeder sub-region, he purchased some 900 acres of land here in 1978 and established what would become one of the area’s pioneering modern wineries. The unique mountain terroir takes centre stage in all of Hess’s wines, bringing a fine balance of power and elegance to both their reds and whites. The Lion Tamer is the nickname given to Malbec on the Hess estate since their Director of Winemaking uses it to soften the powerful tannins of varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. This blend brings together those three varieties in perfect harmony along with Zinfandel and Merlot. Following vinification the young wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 22 months before bottling. Blackcurrant and dark plum dominate on the nose, along with more subtle notes of toasted oak, spice, and woodsmoke from the barrel ageing. The first sip reveals a robust full body, firm yet well-rounded tannins, and a long finish seasoned with rich dark fruit. The powerful yet accessible flavour profile makes this a great wine to lay down in the cellar for a few more years or to drink now with hearty red meat dishes.