By: Ryan Woodhouse
K&L Staff Member
This wine is an absolute sleeper if ever I've seen one. I had tasted some Hill Family wines once before at a big trade tasting and was thoroughly impressed. However, I never knew much about them until this bottle came across my desk. Stunned by just how great this wine was, I did a little more research. It turns out this family are renowned vineyard owners and grape growers in the Atlas Peak, Yountville, Oak Knoll, and Carneros sub-regions of Napa. They sell the vast majority of their prized fruit to some of the biggest names in the valley, such as Far Niente / Nickel & Nickel, Caymus, Silver Oak, Chappellet, Duckhorn, Quintessa...and so on. In more recent times (since 2001), they have been making some wines under their own eponymous label. The wines are made by quite an incredible team too. Winemaker Alison Doran has 30+ years of experience in the cellar, mentored early on by the legendary André Tchelistcheff, she went on to hold many roles including making the wines at Lewis Cellars for many years. Consulting Winemaker Jean Hoefliger brings another level of superstar skills to the table. This multiple 100-point winemaker of Alpha Omega fame consults for many cult wineries around the region and is one of the most talented vintners of his generation. I simply loved the 2016 Origin's layers of lush, ripe, satisfying black and blue fruit, accompanied by smoky spices, cigar box, pencil shavings, and floral lift. Medium to full bodied with fine grained tannins, lovely freshness, and purity. Really reminds me of a more modern expression of St-Émilion, the region around which this blend is modeled and perfectly executed. I taste many thousands of wines a year from Napa, and I don't remember a more satisfying and complete bottle for this price point in a very long time.
Top Value! Drink from 2021 to 2030