(All blends using Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenere)
Both aromas and flavors of spiced-up blueberries, freshly cracked green peppercorns, rich Swiss dark chocolate and firm tannins.
Woods after the rain, blackest of blackberries, sautéed mushrooms, black licorice, fresh anise and balanced tannins.
This had the most fruit on the nose so far; with sugary plums, black fruit and smoke. Silky and balanced.
Toasted French bread smothered in blackberry jam greeted me on the nose; followed by luscious and deep dark fruits and a palate-drying finish.
Conclusion: My husband Ed’s favorite was the 08 while I liked them all.
We tasted a 2012 Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc while touring the new Visitor’s Center behind the tasting room on Highway 29. And though I would have preferred to make my own notes, I thoroughly enjoyed the “pairing” of the wine and the scenery.
In one of the private tasting rooms in the new facility we next sampled the 2011 WALT “Blue Jay” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. With pungent plum aromas, I next noted strawberry, mint, wet forest and dark chocolate. Once tasted I found ripe red fruit, white pepper and good tannins.
Then came a 2010 Hall T-Bar-T Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. With 15% Merlot softening all of the edges, the wine had a delicious pungent plummy nose with a hint of strawberry, the forest following a rainfall and dark chocolate. In the mouth I liked the abundance of red fruit, white pepper and stable tannins.
The 2010 Hall “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon was a fruit bowl of aromas, dusty blackberry, red licorice, anise, and freshly lumber-jacked trees. On the palate I got the full gamut: blackberry, blueberry skins and robust tannins.
Wanted to buy them all.
(WM stands for the winemaker notes that I also found, and EB are my own)
2011 Kite Tail Chardonnay
WM: Zesty, brightness and “verve.”
EB: Cheese, lemon-lime, toast, some Sauvignon Blanc qualities.
2011 Spire Pinot Noir
WM: Raspberry, strawberry, clove, allspice.
EB: Minerality and flintiness.
2011 Estate Syrah (Carneros)
WM: Blackberry, lavender.
EB: Pinot Noir qualities, very balanced.
2010 Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
WM: Cherry, cassis.
EB: Milk chocolate, some slight medicinal notes.
2010 Two Estates
86% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep, dark, ripe red fruit, tobacco, good tannins and balance.
Conclusion: Glad we stopped! Such a nice trip down memory lane as we used to be members years ago. And we purchased the Syrah, the Estate Cab and the Two Estates blend.