The inaugural wine from Guarachi Family Vineyards. Great choice. The wine showcases what a great winemaker, Paul Hobbs, can do in one of Napa's best years. This is a big wine in a big bottle, and it should share the table with a big steak, perhaps a cowboy ribeye. Highly Recommended. DH
The nose is full and sweet, with blackberries, boysenberry, and a drop of caramel. The palate is filled with a melange of dark fruit, from deep mulberry to crisp blackberries. A hint of smoke peeks out on the palate, blossoming into a bite of espresso and unsweetened chocolate on the mid-palate. Tannins are dusty and mouth-filling. Acids are bright enough to hold up to the fruit and tannins. This should do very well in the cellar for ten years or more. The finish lingers. Drink with local lamb chops. Highly Recommended. DH
Two weeks ago I returned home from The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, held at the Meadowood Napa in St. Helena the week prior to Premiere Napa Valley. I’m still not sure what I was doing there, but no one kicked me out and I sure wasn’t going to say anything.
A baby that shows every sign of being a great grownup when it fully matures. Deep purple with a seductive nose of blackcurrants, chocolate, and rosemary. Great gobs of blackberry fruit and pistachios on the palate, with balanced tannins. Finishes beautifully and languorously. This has not yet been released at the time of tasting (a barrel sample), and will require at least another 5-8 years of aging to reach its apogee. But when it does, it will be glorious. Very Highly Recommended. GT
Opened for Open That Bottle Night 2012. Premiere Napa Valley is a special event, an annual fund raiser and auction. Wineries produce special bottles in tiny lots, 5-10 cases, for auction, available that one time and never again. This particular bottle was Lot No. 49, bottle 22 of 60, a Proprietary Red from Monticello Vineyards, hand-signed by Chris Corley. Now I need to track down the other 59 bottles. The nose was rich, deep with plums, cassis, and black cherry, with a touch of spice, perhaps nutmeg and cinnamon. The palate opened black cherry and blackcurrant and a tingly touch of black pepper. Nutmeg and cinnamon peeked through on the mid-palate. Tannins were soft as silk, full, and perfectly balanced with acid. The finish not only lingered, but seemed to echo, pulse, growing with the memory of the taste, fade, then pulse again with the thought of the wine. Drink with very good friends. This would match perfectly with a mutton chop from Keens Steak House. Needless to say, this was Very Highly Recommended. DH.