WINE: Hall Napa Valley Cabernet
I recently received 2 bottles of the Hall Napa Valley Cabernet 2007 from the winery in the mail as samples. I was eager to taste the wine, because I have enjoyed wInes from the Hall Winery in the past, and I am aware of the high ratings and good press their wines have received. But now I’m worried . . . will these factors affect my perception of the wine? I’m fully aware that their 2006 Napa Cabernet was rated 94 points, and placed 18 on Wine Spectator’s “Top 100” Wines of 2010. I also know that their 2006 “Kathryn Hall” Cab was one of the best Napa Cabs I’ve tasted in several years, and scored a 96! So finally I decided to do what I’ve been telling others for a long time, which is forget about all that ratings stuff and just drink the wine! So I did.
This is a deep-red colored wine, with intense aromas of ripe blackberry, tart raspberry, baking spices and touch of Starbuck’s mocha-latte. The flavors are rich, and complex with blackberry compote, cassis, licorice, and more chocolate. Of course, Cabernet is a no-brainer with beef, but this wine in particular pairs well with Greg’s Tenderloin Skewers. The tart-fruit component is great with the cranberry relish, the minerality picks up on the earthiness of Gorgonzola cheese, and the wine’s bright acidity not found in many Napa Cabs, keeps the wine from overpowering the more delicate beef flavors found in tenderloin. And it’s not straight Cab. Happily the winemaker has blended in Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cab Franc to add an elegance not usually found in Cabernet alone.