Today’s Quick Sip is the HALL Wines 2011 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon. I had an opportunity to taste this wine during a recent episode of CellarPass TV that featured a live virtual tasting and interview with Steve Leveque, winemaker for Hall Wines in St. Helena, California. Hall Wines specializes in single-vineyard and limited-production wines with a focus on classic Bordeaux varieties. This (100%) Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Diamond Mountain District sub-appellation of Napa Valley. This sub-appellation is one of the valley’s northernmost wine regions. In normal years, the region’s warm climate, high altitude vineyards – which rise above the fog-line and take advantage of early morning sun -- and porous volcanic soils, tends to produce well-structured, robust wines with good ageability. The 2011 vintage, which was anything but normal, was characterized by early dampness and a cooler than usual growing season. While Cabernet Sauvignon prefers a warm, dry, and balanced growing season, the good news is there are survivors of this challenging vintage. And those survivors who express the vintage well, much like this selection, will most likely be less ripe (than in normal years), brighter, nicely nuanced, and may even flash a [faint] green leg or two. For further information and where you can find this selection, please see my tasting notes below.
HALL Wines 2011 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review: HALL Wines 2011 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $135): Medium-deep garnet in color, this wine offers an expressive melody of dark berry fruit and red plum aromas alongside savory herbs, brown spice, bitter cacao notes, and hints of rose petal. The aromas carry through on the palate and are balanced by a firm spine of acidity. While fairly full-bodied, the wine is remarkably light on its feet with ripe tannins, a graceful yet velvety texture, and a pleasant, mineral-accented lingering finish. Overall, this wine expresses the coolness of the vintage in flavor profile -- showing nuance, some restraint, and an agreeable brightness from start to finish. As for food pairings, this Cabernet’s acidity lends itself to a wide range of dishes including herbes de Provence-crusted lamb chops, pan seared duck breast, and red wine-braised short ribs. Note: I found that this wine benefits from an hour or so of breathing in a decanter and is also a good candidate for short-to-long-term aging. Region: Diamond Mountain District, California. (Other info: ABV 15%, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, cork enclosure.) 92 Points. Click here to find this wine.
Springtime Bloom from my Cherry Tree
About CellarPass TV: #CellarPassTV is an informative weekly wine broadcast in which some of California’s top winemakers, winery owners, and people in the food and wine industry are interviewed by host Sarah Elliman. Their website, CellarPass.com, is a leading destination for online winery reservations that’s well worth checking out if you’re thinking about visiting California wine country. To view this episode of CellarPass TV, click here.
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