Thursday, December 6, 2018

Wine Review: Hess Select North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Hess Select North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Hess needs no introduction but just in case, here's a blurb on their history from their website: The Hess Collection was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess, who first purchased vineyards on Mount Veeder in 1978. Located in the historic stone winery originally constructed in 1903 by Colonel Theodore Gier, the winery first opened to the public in 1989. The winery has earned international recognition for its wine, culinary and visitor programs while providing free public access to Donald Hess’ extensive private contemporary Art Museum. Known as a leader in sustainable practices, The Hess Collection adheres to founder Donald Hess’ philosophy: “Nurture the land; return what you take.” The winery is best known for its flagship Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines and single vineyard designates from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley.

This week I am doing two quick reviews of Hess Select wines. I started with their 2016 Pinot Noir and now I'm reviewing their 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. It's 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petite Sirah, 4% Malbec, 2% Syrah, 2% Merlot, and 2% Zinfandel. Aged in 35% new French and American oak for 18 months. Suggested retail is $20 but it's usually marked at $16 from what I've seen.

Funny story with this wine. I reviewed this and the Pinot Noir on the same night. I thought I had poured the Pinot Noir. I've had the Hess Pinot Noir before and know it to be a reliable Pinot for the price. I'm sitting there for literally five minutes thinking "What the fuck are they doing to their Pinot? This is crazy! It's all Cabby and minty, they're losing their shit!" And I look over and see the two bottles and only the Cabernet is open. Son of a bitch. In my own defense, it's been a really long day.

The color of the wine is ruby red. On the nose there's aromas of black cherries, blue raspberry, creamed coffee, cedar, and mint. In the mouth it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, grainy but soft tannin, and a balanced acidity. All of those aromas on the nose carry over on to flavors on the palate but there's an added floral element. Then it finishes with black cherries, creamed coffee, and mint.

Just like the Pinot Noir, this is a solid and reliable Cabernet for the price. Yes, you will find plenty that are better for the same price but it's always good to keep in mind those solid reliable wines that you can find pretty much anywhere, whether you have to pick out a wine at a random hole in the wall liquor store or if it's on a wine list with Dark Horse or Apothic and other garbage. You can't go wrong with Hess. Or Rodney Strong, while we're on the topic of solid and reliable.

By the way, the Hess Pinot Gris is stellar. You should pick some up. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Price: $16
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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