Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Hourglass 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon  (St. Helena)


2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
(St. Helena ~ Napa Valley)

In 1976 Ned Smith purchased the 6-acre Hourglass vineyard, located on an outcropping finger of the Mayacamas about two miles north of the town of St. Helena. Right in the heart of the St. Helena AVA and known today for high quality Cabernet Sauvignon — neighbors include Colgin's Tychson Hill, the Ahern vineyard, Duckhorn, Freemark Abbey, and Vineyard 29 — the Hourglass vineyard was originally planted to Zinfandel.

After phylloxera devastated the vineyard, Ned’s son Jeff learned they were in the “pinch”, or narrowest point of the hourglass shaped Napa Valley, and replanted with heat-loving Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cooled daily by gentle afternoon winds, the ripening process is leisurely and longer than normal, giving fruit with higher levels of complexity than from other warm climate vineyards. Since its first vintage in 1997, consulting winemaker Bob Foley has crafted deeply flavored, complex 100% Cabernet Sauvignons.

Full bodied and dry, this limited production wine (700 cases produced) has notes of vanilla bean, caramel, mocha, tar, black licorice, menthol and cassis. Bold, intense, and mouth-coating, it is very opulent in style with ripe fruit and lavish oak, but refreshing natural acidity brings balance, finesse, and longevity.

Reviewed October 6, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.


The Wine

Winery: Hourglass
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: St. Helena ~ Napa Valley
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Review Date: 10/6/2006

The Reviewer

Catherine Fallis

Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.