Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$$ William Hill Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, 2005

Find pricing and retail availability for William Hill Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

By way of background: William Hill Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, is fermented with a small percentage of its berries left whole. It is 100% cabernet sauvignon, from vineyards on the Silverado Bench Estate, just east of the Napa River, and from high elevation vineyards in the Napa Valley. It is finished at 14.3% alcohol.

Original review, December, 2009:

In the glass: William Hill Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is deep blood red and purple in the glass, opaque starting about a half inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, aromas show a classic California cab bent, with black ink, a touch of blood and hints of pencil lead. All that plus ripe plum.

On the palate: Full, balanced attack on the palate. It is rich, layered, touching front, back and sides of your mouth all at the same time. It brings a still-fresh layer of rich tannins and black plum across to the back of your mouth. The tannins curl into your cheeks and bring the fleshy fruit up there too.

And the finish: High alcohol and potent tannins give the William Hill Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon a long memory in your palate. It slowly, slowly fades from view, very slowly, leaving a refreshing tannic wash for the next sip.

In summary: Bold, classic new world experience. Will likely be better, sweeter, more open with a decant. This warrants three full stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its combination of intensity and balance. Falls just shy of four stars, but might make it there with a serious decant. 

Two days later... In lieu of a serious decant, I kept a third-bottle under vac-u-vin for two days and tasted again. Unfortunately, it did not grow in stature, but instead diminished. Became more flacid and acidic. Migrated to three stars. Conclusion: drink fresh. and drink soon.
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Updated review, about a year and a half later, May, 2011: Color is exactly the same, still almost entirely opaque.  Less plum now, but still the elements of deep cabernet, blood and pencil lead.  Still seems serious in constitution.  Smooth deep plum remains on the palate.  Soft tannins and still-apparent acids bring this to a full, lengthy, yet-clean finish.  Remains at the 3+ star level.  Nicely holding up to age.  I wouldn't see the need to keeping it in cellar for any longer, however. 

Find pricing and retail availability for William Hill Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

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