Another fascinating wine that symbolizes the new level of quality as well as innovation and creativeness at Hess Collection is the 2014 Proprietary Red The Lion Tamer, a red blend, which is 55% Malbec, 15% Zinfandel, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah and 8% Merlot. It comes from vineyards throughout Napa and is a delicious, Mediterranean style of wine, with notes of forest floor, underbrush, lavender, loads of black cherry and blackcurrant, a nice, spicy meatiness and a medium to full-bodied finish. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. As I indicated last year, the Hess Collection winery up on Mt. Veeder is profiting from a complete makeover and producing better and better wines as well as more special cuvées. This was a winery that burst on the scene in the mid-1980s with some terrific wines and then became moribund. That’s all changing now, as the recent releases strongly evidence. (RP)
A new offering from this producer, this wine blends 55% Malbec with 15% Zinfandel, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah and 8% Merlot. It satisfies in rich, rounded flavors of blueberry pie, cranberry and clove, with an underlying streak of dark chocolate. Medium acidity supports an appealing full-bodied juiciness. (VB)
Wins points for finesse and polish, with a sleek, supple mix of savory berry, roasted herb and cedary oak notes, and ending with woody, gripping tannins. Needs time. Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Merlot. Drink now through 2027. (JL, Web-2017)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)