Saturday, December 31, 2011
I was fortunate to taste many great wines during the holidays, and this wine stood out as my favorite of the last two weeks. The 2008 Hess Collection 19 Block Cuvee is an amazing blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 8% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine has very intense fruit forward flavors and ripe fruit flavors of plum, black cherry and wild berries fill the nose. The palate is an incredible blend of red fruits, black cherry, vanilla, chocolate chips, mild spices, toast and just a faint touch of cinnamon towards the back end. This wine literally leaves you wanting more and the very long, smooth and incredibly full finish is wonderful.
About Hess Collection's 19 Block Cuvee:
From the winery: A core of 19 blocks from our highest altitude estate vineyard comprises this proprietary Cabernet blend. The Veeder Summit Vineyard, with altitudes ranging from 1300 to 2000 feet is distinguished for its steep slopes and volcanic soils and produces intensely flavored, complex wines.
AVA: Mount Veeder / Napa Valley
Cases Produced: 19,100
Retail Price: $36.00
After drinking the 2008 and now the 2009 Williamette Valley Pinot Noir from ROCO, it is easy to see why some of the world's best Pinot Noir come from this area. While all Pinot Noir is not created the same, they all should strive to be as consistently good as the ones from ROCO Winery. The 2009 vintage instantly makes your mouth water with soul-reaching aromas of blackberry jam, spices and flower pedals. The bright acidity in this wine is noted right from the beginning but is surprising very well in check and the wine is as smooth as glass. On the palate is more of the blackberry flavor with red berries mixed in. There is an earthiness about this wines that is a testament to the soils from which it came and when everything blends together, you have a stunning wine.
AVA: Williamette Valley
Cases Produced: 2750
Retail Price: $30.00
Here's a wine you can wrap your lips around and help support a great cause! The 2009 Red Scarf Blend wine is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese, and Zinfandel. These four varietals are brough together to form a lovely wine that could easily become your daily drinker. Medium red in the bottle, this wine presents black cherry, redcurrants, cranberry and spices to the nose. On the palate is a flavorful wine that includes flavors of dark and red berries, mocha, and touches of vanilla, cigar box and forest floor. The wine is tight but drinks beautifully with some decanting. When you purchase this wine from the winery, 10% of the sales are donated to charity.
From the winery: This wine was specially created to honor the men and women of the MH-53 Pavelow helicopter. Although this aircraft has been retired, its memory will live on. A portion of the proceeds from this wine will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation who's mission is to provide full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families.
Appellation: Sonoma County
Retail Price: $26.50
The 2008 vintage of the flagship wine for Blanchard Family Wines is a dark red, stunning and aromatic beauty. There is a lot going on with this wine and this one would be worth buying a case and tasting over time. Black raspberry, damp earth, licorice and mocha are presented up front, with baking spice and cherry and dark chocolate following suit. In the mouth is a full bodied wine that demands respect and will get it! The flavors dance together beautifully and are all meshed together by the long oak interaction. Mouth watering tannins lead way to a long and luxurious finish.
AVA: Dry Creek Valley
Retail Price: $35.00
Barbera is a red wine that is often misunderstood or overlooked, even by the most experienced wine drinkers. The 2005 vintage from Chateau Routon is a bold and beautiful wine with a dark purple nearly opaque look in the glass. The aromas of blackberry, vanilla and tar are most dominant on the nose. The flavor profile includes ripe blackberries, smoky oak, vanilla and licorice - all blended beautifully for a fine tasting experience. This wine is very smooth and subtle and one that you should seek.
AVA: Fair Play
Retail Price: $42.00
This new release from Chateau Routon is a red wine blend and the aromas and flavors appeal to nearly every red wine drinker. Expressive notes of wild berry, mocha, raspberry jam and damp earth lay a foundation to similar palate pleasing tastes. The wine is smooth and mouth filling, leaving you with a lingering and mouth watering finish.
Retail Price: $38.00