We visited Hourglass winery in 2017 and were so smitten with their wines that we put ourselves onto a wait list to get put onto their allocation list. Took a couple of years I think and now we are just getting into some of our new wines. Starting with the 2017s and their Napa Valley red blend. First I’ll share some notes from the winery, and then my notes on the wine.
Here is what vintner Jeff Smith said about their then-current 2017 harvest, “2017 was our 20th harvest! Doesn’t seem possible, yet here we are. We’ve learned a lot in 20 years and the journey is just getting started. Hourglass debuted during a time of profound change in Napa Valley. The 1990’s ushered in a radical stylistic shift toward high pH winemaking. A style pioneered by brave winemakers who dared go where they were schooled not to. Modernism was born and I’m proud to say we helped put an indelible stamp on it. In the ensuing years, we rode the pendulum swing of ripeness to its edges, and helped define the spectrum of stylistic choices Napa affords. In the process, we learned a great deal….” Read more here.
2017 Hourglass Red Blend, Napa Valley
Color: blackberry, red cellophane edge, opaque.
Aroma: Ripe and juicy black cherries, dried plum, dark chocolate, green peppercorn, dusty, mushroom and sage.
Flavor: Dried red cherry, red to dark fruit again, cherry liqueur, black pepper, charred steak, drying tannin.
With food: Ed had made a simple Bolognese with ripe red tomatoes – giving it both a meaty and acidic flavor. After a few minutes in my glass, and with food, the wine became more layered, showing dry and dark fruit, pepper and lingering dark berries.
Conclusion: Probably should lay this one down a bit as the difference between having it alone and then in my glass longer, and with food, was remarkable for me. Betting more swirling and decanting would also work. (I tasted this in early April, a few weeks into the Coronavirus quarantine, when I was getting more than anxious for the good stuff.) I gave the wine 94 Eve points without food and 95 Eve points with.
“Hourglass. . . two vineyards, a winery and a compilation of estate wines: a vision unfolding.”
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.