19 September 2014

Hourglass Tasting

For the second year in a row, I've gotten the chance to taste a quartet of half bottles from Hourglass Vineyard in Napa Valley. My first tasting was in January 2013 and these were sampled a few months ago.

Napa is still recovering from the recent earthquake, so if you want to support those winemakers, growers, and everyone involved in the local industry, consider drinking a Napa wine this weekend. There has been a lot of damage to barrel rooms and cellars throughout the region, and your wine dollars do make a difference.

2013 Hourglass Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Napa Valley/Calistoga
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$40/750ml bottle

This is one of those bottles that I'd love to pour for a blind tasting. Unlike a lot of California Sauvignon Blanc, it is light, gentle, and restrained. There are slight elements of citrus and herbs but the presentation is so delicate. I would serve it with grilled quail and a simple salad.

2012 Blueline Estate Merlot
Napa Valley/Calistoga
91% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot
$75/750ml bottle

The Merlot opens up with aromas of stewed fruits and pencil shavings. The tannins are extremely mild, leading to a soft but long finish. Outstanding with a veal chop seasoned with Herbes de Provence.

2012 Blueline Estate Malbec
Napa Valley/Calistoga
75% Malbec, 25% Petit Verdot
$75/750ml bottle

This is a great Bordeaux blend of two grapes that you don't often see in the forefront in that region. Dominant profile of black cherry, with touches of dried cranberry on the back. On the nose there is a pleasant earthiness, while the strong tannins show a wine that should develop beautifully over the next few years. For now, this is a great Saturday night steak wine.

2012 Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc
Napa Valley/Calistoga
83% Cabernet Franc, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
$135/750ml bottle

The price might seem high for a Cabernet Franc but it will show you just how expressive this tiny grape can be. It is rich and dark with a pronounced cassis flavor. A sniff yields touches of black pepper, chocolate, and leather. The tannins are firm but not overbearing and again, it is one that will only improve with proper aging. Highly recommended.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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