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Hourglass is a cult winery located in Napa Valley. The fascinating story of this place started more than 50 years ago when Ned Smith acquired the property and began with plantations of only Zinfandel grape; the story changed dramatically when Jeff, son of Ned, took over the property, it is worth mentioning that this happened shortly after the phylloxera took root with the vineyards in California; Jeff traded all of Zin's plantations for Cab Sauvignon! And we can only thank him because Hourglass delivers some of the best Cabs and Bordeaux Blends that exist in all California!
In 1992, Jeff's best friend, Bob Foley - who already had a long journey in wine at vineyards like Robert Foley Vineyards, Switchback Ridge, Pride Mountain, among others - joined the Hourglass team as a partner and the star winemaker.
Jeff and Bob not only share a love of wine, but also a love of music. Their friendship began when Jeff heard Bob's band play a fusion between jazz and new age music at their local pub; there was a melody that made him feel the same excitement as when he was working in the vineyard!
These two wine experts have managed to position Hourglass as a benchmark of wine excellence in California. Hourglass wines are modern, original, fun, and full of life! And to quote Jeff: "Being creative, testing the limits, learning the trade, producing something that brings people together, it's like making music, only better."
Hourglass Wines has 2 vineyards, each of them with an intriguing story. The original vineyard is called Hourglass, and it is comprised of 4 acres located in St. Helena; thanks to its proximity to the Mayacama Mountains and the terroir composed of rocky soils, is the perfect place for the Cab Sauvignon to thrive. The second vineyard called Blueline is located in Calistoga, and it was acquired in 2006; this vineyard is made up of 20 acres planted with typical Bordeaux grapes, with soils of decomposed volcanic ash.
Since 2012, Tony Biagi joined the oenological team. Tony is an expert in all wine processes, "My hands are involved in every single step so there is continuity in the process, start to finish." -Tony Biagi.
2018 Hourglass 'HG III' Red Blend is aged for 16 months in combined of new and seasoned French oak.
Tasting Notes: Merlot, Petit Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of wild cherry, blueberry, cassis, and subtle hints of dried flowers and savory herbs. These aromas carry forward on the palate, the medley of saturated, pure fruit flavors providing dimension to the broad-shouldered, sumptuous texture. Dense and concentrated, yet balanced by lively acidity, a refined structure, and well-integrated tannins. Pair this wine with beef, game, roasted vegetables, or a chocolate cake.
Very attractive blackberry and blueberry character with cedar and dried flowers. It’s full-bodied with tight, chewy tannins and enticing, transparent fruit underneath. Flavorful finish. ~93 James Suckling.
Readers looking for an introduction to the wines from this great estate should check out the 2018 HG III, which is always a more Merlot-dominated blend. The 2018 reveals a deep purple/ruby hue to go with a juicy, endearing, up-front style that carries lots of blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, hints of chocolate, spice, and dried herbs, medium to full body, and a plush, sexy, yet beautifully balanced profile. It's going to evolve for 15 years and is a rock-solid bottle of wine. ~93 Jeb Dunnuck.
Juicy and fine-textured, with concentrated cherry tart and plum pudding flavors that offer plenty of cooking spice accents, showing hints of dark chocolate and mocha on the finish. Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. ~91 Wine Spectator.
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