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A Bottle of Red & A Bottle of White

When you can’t choose between drinking red or white wine and circumstances permit, try both and let your palate choose. That’s why I love using my Coravin system; there is no waste factor in my home!

Donald Hess is the founder of Hess Wines, a family-owned, fifth-generation company located in Napa Valley, CA. In the 1970s, while on a business trip to Napa Valley, Donald took an interest in mountain winegrowing. He ascertained that the Mount Veeder mountain vineyards were an ideal area for growing grapes, which produce unique character and flavor due to the microclimate and soils.

Map courtesy of Hess Collection

In 1978 Donald made his first land purchase on Mount Veeder, a property in which winemaking and farming have a history going back as far as 1876. This property is now the site of the Hess Collection Winery. By 1982, Donald had acquired 900 acres and in 1986 he opened the Hess Collection Winery to the public. Dave Guffy became Director of Winemaking in 1999 and Donald formally retired in 2011, passing on the baton to his son-in-law Timothy Persson as CEO and his daughter Sabrina, the fifth generation of the Hess family.

In addition to its mountain vineyards, Hess Wines has estate vineyards in areas such as Pope Valley and near the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. They also produce wine in Argentina and South Africa.

Hess Wines focuses on sustainable practices in the vineyard and winery, as indicated by this quote from their website: The wines cultivated at The Hess Collection follow the dictates of the Napa Green certified land and winery programs, as well as the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance “Code of Sustainable Winegrowing”, both third-party certification programs with significant oversight. 

My review today is on wines that come from Hess Allomi and Súskol Vineyards in Napa.

Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017 is 100% Chardonnay. The grapes are sourced from Súskol Estate Vineyards located in one of the coolest growing regions within Napa. It is the site of an ancient seabed with shallow, sandy soils. Chardonnay is exclusively grown on this 175-acre vineyard with nine unique clones to work with. Seventy percent of the blend goes through stainless fermentation and the remaining 30% sees a light touch of oak-aged for nine months in French oak, 19% new.

Photo credit: Penny Weiss

Luscious aromas of floral, pear, honeydew and vanilla lead to a rich and creamy palate. Layers of melon, honeysuckle, pear and baking spice with hints of stone fruit are complemented by lively acidity and balance. Enjoy as an aperitif or serve with seafood, light pasta or cheese.
Alcohol:  14.4%
SRP:  $22

Hess Collection “Allomi” Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petite Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Merlot. Grapes are harvested from Allomi Vineyard located in northeastern Pope Valley, a part of Napa Valley. Vines are exposed to a long, warm growing season and well-drained clay loam soils. There are 35 unique blocks with six different Cabernet clones in this 210-acre estate. Each block is evaluated and only the finest components are selected for each vintage. This wine is aged in 27% new American oak for 18 months.

Photo credit: Penny Weiss

A profusion of black fruit and spice with hints of floral and vanilla greet the nose. The palate offers dark plum, black cherry and spice with a finale of dark chocolate, vanilla and sour cherry on a long and luxurious finish. It has a beautiful mouth-feel with well-integrated tannins. This wine is full of personality and simply put, is elegant. Serve with grilled meat, wild game, stews and grilled vegetables. 
Alcohol: 14.5%
SRP: $32

I look forward to revisiting these wines very soon!
Until next time…


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