Friday, February 01, 2008

2002 Hess Cabernet Sauvignon

Country: U.S.A.
Region: Napa Valley
Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: €11.99 (50% discount)

Hess Estate was established by Donald Hess in 1985. Hess inherited his Swiss families beer business in his 20's which he set about converting into a water business. Looking to further expand his water business, Donald arrived in the Napa valley and was immediately impressed by the quality of the wines produced.

Donald then proceded to procure his first vineyards on Mount Veeder called Veeder Hills. Over the corresponding eight years more vineyards at Mt Veeder, Veeder Crest, Veeder Summit and La Salle were purchased.

From the very beginning Donald Hess was looking to produce a product of high quality. A quote from the website illustrates this:

"From the beginning, my philosophy for new business development has been to deal only in natural products. Over the past twenty-three years of the Hess Collection's existance, I patiently stuck to this belief and strove to offer great value at the paragon of quality."

Hess has built up a reputation for high quality, good value wines across all product lines going a long to achieving this paragon of quality. Here is my tasting note:

Fantastic deep red, purple in colour. Typical Cabernet nose with plenty of dark cherry fruit and hints of mint and french oak. Open, generous new world style with upfront dark berry fruit and some vanilla. Well balanced despite the massive 14.5% alcohol with fine, grippy tannins and good acid. While quite chunky its not huge or over-the-top though it does lack a little on the finish. All-in-all an impressive wine.

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