2016 Hillside Red Blend

Tasting Notes

The deep, dark, ruby red hues of this sublime offering invite auspicious anticipation. True to its Howell Mountain heritage, bold and vibrantly expressive flavors of ripe black and red fruit, with hints of anise and sweet spices abound. While the expectation that attends its pedigreed terroir and adroit winemaking sets a high bar, the 2016 vintage of our most storied wine stands and delivers. Indeed, cued by the wine’s alluring nose, the attack is marked with gravitas and vigor. Ripe blackberry, dark cherry, licorice and hints of juniper berry and baking spices lead to an assertive mid-palate …whose deftly applied oak framing presages a “call of the wild” that will be barely contained. Throaty, brooding and almost feral, the wine’s underlying power awaits to be unleashed by those who favor big, bold striking wines built for power and purpose. Sleek, brawny, and sensuous without caring to be stylish or trendy, the wine invites comparison to the classic American muscle cars whose street legality may someday be challenged.

The grapes that made this wine were grown in an east-facing hillside Howell Mountain vineyard perched 2100 feet above the Napa Valley floor, located just outside the Rancho. The terraced vineyard is planted on an extreme slope, producing thick-skinned clusters capable of creating a wine with intensity, structure, elegance, and weight.

2014 Hillside Red Blend

This 2014 jewel in our trifecta of remarkable vintages stands and delivers. Indeed, with the addition of vibrant cabernet from our newly anointed Las Posadas block to our remarkable hillside merlots, this striking expression of what Howell Mountain can-do… lends veracity to the notion that “three is a charm”.

Ruby red in the glass, this tantalizing blend signals its arrival with precociously heady aromas of black cherry and plum, complemented by hints of lightly toasted anise and baking spices. True to the storied upper reaches of Howell Mountain, flavors of ripe blackberry, black tea and peppercorn give way to a rustic mid-palate, with a pleasing acidity, and notable structure in-play. Aged 26 months in 31% new French Oak, the wine’s oak framing reveals what comes when skilled handling is deftly applied to fruit from this heralded appellation. The result reveals a teasing, but feisty and focused Hillside Blend, whose muscularity and nimbleness present a beguiling, layering of juxtapositions. With the wine’s pre-release staged during this summer’s season of movie blockbusters, we invite you to consider how this blend might compare to the lithesome Diana, Princess of the Amazon’s (a.k.a. Gal Gadot of Wonder Woman fame).