2017 Hourglass HG III Red Blend, Napa Valley, California (750ml)
In addition to Hourglass' more expensive single vineyard reserve bottlings, they also make this second-tier HGIII Red Wine. The 2016 is a blend of 48% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Petit Verdot and was aged for 17 months in 30% new French oak, 10% new American oak, and the balance used barrels.
It reveals plump red and black fruit with a note of cedar. It has a smooth, mouth filling texture and finishes with well, integrated, softly toned tannins. This is a well rounded, drinkable now, Merlot based blend for a very fair price, given the pedigree of the Hourlgass estate. Hourglass owner, Jeff Smith, resides with his wife, Carolyn over his prized six acre vineyard estate and modern designed winery set into the sloping hill of the Mayacamas Mountains. He is thankful that he didn't let his mother sell the estate after the sudden death of her husband, Ned, who knew it was a special part of the valley. Jeff's intuition that the site had great potential for farming high quality grapes was confirmed when Dr. Kliewer, a famous viticulture consultant from UC Davis, discovered the soil that couldn’t grow fruit trees was Hambright, exclaiming, “These soils aren’t good for much, but they are magic for Cabernet. With some luck, this site could become one of the signature Cabernet sites in Napa Valley.” Dr. Kliewer further explained that Napa Valley is shaped like an hourglass and the Smith’s hillside vineyard was situated right at the “pinch” or narrowest point in the middle. Jeff put into motion a serious plan to develop a world class Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard he would call, Hourglass. He asked his former rock band-mate, Bob Foley, who had become a rock star winemaker in Napa, to be the winemaker for Hourglass. They had the great fortune to release their first wine with the phenomenal 1997 vintage and immediately sold out of their tiny production when the wine was included in a tasting at the 2001 Napa Valley Wine Auction with Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Bryant Family. Critics and the press were stunned by its presence with the big boys and Jeff was thrilled to see his dream finally became a reality.