2017-C Hill Family Estate, The Barrel Blend, Napa Valley, California (750ml)
A Monthly Wine Club Selection
The 2017 Barrel Blend offers seductive aromas of dark fruit and spice. The rich palate shows blackberry, cassis, black cherry, cedar and a touch of tamari. It has chewy tannins and plenty of structure and spice on the finish.
In 1981, Doug and Darci Hill settled down on an acre of land at the northern edge of Yountville. Their children, Ryan and Carly, grew up playing in the vineyards, tending chickens, and helping their neighbors grow organic fruits and vegetables for the local restaurants, including Thomas Keller’s world-renowned French Laundry. After four decades of farming grapes for some of the finest Napa Valley wineries, fourth-generation farmer Doug and his family decided to make their own wine. .
Hill Family Estate was born out of the desire for the family to work together, sharing the experience of crafting fine wines that showcased the grapes that Doug farmed at 12 unique vineyard sites located in the Napa Valley. Their wine tasting room is located in their hometown, and American foodie capital, Yountville, California.
The Hill Family Estate Barrel Blend is put together with the help of Kyle Knox, a great surfer and a wine professional, who loved the idea of “being in the barrel” as both a wine term and a surfing term. 2017 was a fairly normal year with roller coaster weather, and then late August hit with an unusually durable heat wave. It was tough on the vines, and the grapes began rolling in. All grapes were harvested before the big wine country fires hit in early October, which burned over 160,000 acres that year in the surrounding areas.
This well-crafted blend consists of 44% Merlot, 17% Zinfandel, 16% Syrah, 7% Petit Sirah, 5% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Pinot Noir, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Dolcetto, and was aged 10 months in 20% new oak (8% French, 4% American, and 8% Hungarian).