Hess Collection, 19 Block Cuvee, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, 2010 $30
My rating for this bottle? I would drink the whole thing.
19 Block Cuvee is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, 11% Syrah, 6% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. The grapes are grown in the mountains of Napa Valley (Mount Veeder) that are noted for their steep slopes and volcanic soil. The harsher growing conditions stress the vines out and make them work harder. This leads to more flavorful grapes.
"Oh damn..." was the first thing I thought when I tasted this wine and let it linger in my mouth. It is dark cherry in color and smells like cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Baked red fruit like cherries and black currants are the first flavors that touch your lips and tongue. Its not sweet but has a nice balance - slight tannins but a rounded, balanced softness. Velvety and delicious.