On a recent trip to Napa Valley and the wonderful little town of Yountville, I was introduced to the Hill Family Estate Tasting Room. Our friend Marcella who lives in San Francisco booked a private tasting for myself and Lauren with the lovely and very informative, Jean.
As it was the holidays the tasting room was filled with festive flair making it even more welcoming. We were seated at an old country kitchen table and presented with a plate of meats and cheeses to enjoy while Jean jtalked to us about the wines on offer.
Looking around the room of nooks and crannies I noticed lots of fun kitschy items such as a red wine stained baseball bat and surfboard, antique chairs and guitars. Every minute something new caught my eye right up until the wine tasting started at which time I was focused on only one thing. Well, there was another thing that caught my eye and that was a photo on the front of the Hill Family book with a ridiculously handsome man. Jean told us he was the Ryan Hill who is in charge of sales of this family owned winery and married.
We started with a selection of whites, where I found the Chardonnay delightful. Moving on to their extraordinary reds with a standout wine called The Messenger. Reviews of these to come later.
I loved this winery so much I am now a member. My first delivery brought the Hill Family Estate “Red Door” 2010 of which there are only 200 cases produced.
This is going to sound strange but the first thing you notice is how ridiculously heavy the bottle is. I actually nearly dropped it when I was pouring with one hand. I am honestly not a weakling but this is a two hand pour glass of wine, even down to the last glass.
The Red Door is predominately Cabernet Sauvignon with just 8% Petit Verdot and 7.5% Malbec. It is gorgeously dark cherry rich in color and pours like velvet. On the nose is starts out smoky with hints of spicy tobacco followed by vanilla and chocolate. Spicy on the palate with not much else initially, I definitely needed more time with this wine. Fast forward to 15 minutes later – why would I keep you waiting! Now I taste sweet overripe cherries, anise, Cadbury chocolate (the best), and a wonderful long smooth finish. This is a big red that needs to be enjoyed at leisure. I did actually enjoy this wine more the next day.
I am very much looking forward to drinking and sharing my thoughts on my other Hill Family Estate wines.