One of the great things about wine is that everyone is constantly learning. Today, I discovered an excellent, terroir-driven, Cabernet Sauvignon producer that I'd never heard of. Hourglass Winery. This luxury, small-production winery is located as the area where the Napa Valley "pinches" to its smallest point - hence the name.
First released in 1997, Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon has held its own with the great "Cult Cabs" of Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle, but this was under Pride Mountain and Paloma superstar winemaker Bob Foley. 2012 starts the winemaking reign of Anthony Biagi - formerly of Duckhorn, Plumpjack, and Cade.
I visited Hourglass Winery at their Blueline Estate Facility for classes related to The Wine and Spirits MBA program, but also got an advance taste of the new 2012 Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignons. Here is what I thought.
Hourglass 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon 'Blueline Estate.' "Dark red fruits and hard crushed stone. A low acid wine but with big serious minerality. A stone monster that is awkward now, but certain to mature into an austerely beautiful Napa Cabernet in 5 to 10 years." 94 points. Approx Retail $125
Hourglass 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. "Smooth and complex. The classic Napa Cabernet story. This is chocolate cherry with a bloody meaty red fruit character with even more milk chocolate. Very culty. Lush and classic. Probably will improve with a couple years, but very few will let it get there." 95 points. Approx Retail $165
Hourglass Cabernets aren't cheap. Nothing in the Napa Valley really is. But if, however, you want a small production, high-quality, estate-bottled, and terroir focuses wine from Napa, this is a heck of a good option.